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THE 



QUARTER-CENTENNIAL 



Srst 




HUM 



CHICAGO 



May 21st and 23d, 1876. 



Sermon by Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D.; Address by Rev. W. W. Patton, 

D. D.; Address by Hon. W. W. Farwell.; Address by Rev. J. 

E. Roy, D. D.; A Statistical Statement by the Clerk. 



CHICAGO: 

CULVER, PAGE, HOYNE & CO., PRINTERS, 

1876. 



T> 1 €1C V , / ^ Sft- 



THE 



QUARTER-CENTENNIAL 



Mst Congregational Church 



CHICAGO 



May 21st and 22d, 1876. 



Sermon by Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D.; Address by Rev. W. W. Patton, 

D. D.; Address by Hon. W. W. Farwell.; Address by Rev. J. 

E. Roy, D. D.; A Statistical Statement by the Clerk. 



CHICAGO: 

CULVER, PAGE, HOYNE & CO., PRINTERS, 
1876. 



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*\ 



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NOTE. 

The Quarter-Centennial of the First. Congregational Church of Chicago 
occurred May 22, 1876. The Church deemed some observance of the occa- 
sion fitting and desirable, and placed the matter in the hands of a com- 
mittee, with full powers to arrange for the memorial services. 

Though it was also the twenty-fifth anniversary of the denomination, in 
this city, it was not considered best to unite the Churches in one common 
observance, and the exercises were, therefore, simply of a character properly 
fitting the history of the First Church. 

The exercises were mainly on Sabbath, May 21st. In the morning the 
Pastor, Rev. Dr. Goodwin, preached an historical sermon. In the evening 
addresses were made by Rev. Dr. Patton, Rev. Dr. Roy and Hon. W. W. 
Farwell, and a brief statistical statement was made by J. W. Sykes, the 
Clerk of the Church. 

The sermon, the addresses and the statement are printed herewith. 

On Monday evening, May 22d, the ladies gave a sociable in the parlors 
of the Church, which closed the memorial observance. The occasion was of 
great interest, and the presence of old and former members of the Church 
was a pleasant feature. 



SERMON 

PREACHED ON THE 

QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

OF CHICAGO, 

By REV. E. P. GOODWIN, D. D., Pastor. 



We have thought of Thy loving kindness, God, in the midst of Thy 
temple. 

According to Thy name, God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the 
earth ; Thy right hand is full of righteousness. 

Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of 
Thy judgments. 

Walk about Zion, and go round about her : tell the towers thereof. 

Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces ; that ye may tell it to 
the generation following. 

For this God is our God for ever and ever ; He will be our guide even 
unto death. — Psalm xlviii, 9-14. 

God's people have a story to tell, and a story worth the 
hearing of the generation following. And what makes it so is 
their experience of God's loving-kindness : on the one hand 
divine and loving guardianship from evil, God's right arm 
between them and all their foes ; on the other, steady and 
rich bestowals out of which, whether as individuals or as 
Christians, they compact growth, strength, fruitfulness. And 
the longer the experience the grander the story, and the more 
worth the telling and the hearing. 

This is why we keep jubilee to-day. To-morrow will be 
the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organization of this Church. 



6 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

Looking back through these years, we feel profoundly that 
we have had large and precious experience of God's loving 
kindness — that " the Lord hath done great things for us, 
whereof we are glad." And we are minded to tell the story, 
because we believe it will help those that come after us to more 
lovingly trust God, and more joyfully and fruitfully render 
Him service and honor. 

Some churches are said to glorify God in their death. 
We believe this one has glorified Him from the beginning, and 
will continue to do so by its life. It had the best of rights to 
be ; for, in the truest sense, it was born not of the will of the 
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

A quarter of a century ago, it is safe to say, there was no 
burden resting more heavily upon the hearts of Christian peo- 
ple in this country than that of American slavery. And what 
specially aggravated the matter was the painful fact, that even 
Christian people were conscientiously at variance as to what 
should be done. They were agreed — thoroughly so — through- 
out the entire North, that the buying and selling of human 
chattels, and the holding them in bondage was at war with 
the plain teachings of the word of God, was irreconcilable 
with the spirit of the Gospel. But with slaveholders by the 
thousand in certain branches of the Church, and controlling 
the religious sentiment of half the land, how to get the skirts 
of the Church clear of the sin was the puzzling problem. 

For the most part Northern Christians, especially Congre- 
gational Christians, saw no difficulty in the case. They said, 
" There can be no compact between light and darkness, be- 
tween Christ and Belial." The true solution is, " Come out 
from among them, and be ye separate," and " Have no fellow- 
ship with the unfruitful works of darkness." And that is 
what the Congregational churches did, what they had always 
done. For when the war of the rebellion broke out, there 
was not, if I remember rightly, a single Congregational church 
south of Mason and Dixon's line. Naturally enough, there- 
fore, by virtue alike of the blood and the Gospel that was in 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 7 

them, the multitudes of Congregationalists scattered through 
the New School Presbyterian Churches of the North — and 
there were thousands that, under the old plan of union, were 
beguiled into selling their Congregational birthright for a mess 
of pottage, and never got it back again — these were urgent for 
the General Assembly to take positive ground against the sin 
of slavery. They pressed not only for the emphatic denuncia- 
tion of the institution as a crime against God and man, but 
for such action as should disfellowship all who held slaves, or 
were in any wise concerned in the traffic. There was much 
and vigorous discussion of the subject. Hence it came to be 
expected that the General Assembly, to be held in Detroit, in 
1850, would give a deliverance that would be explicit and 
satisfactory. Its utterance was', however, so delphic as to 
occasion wide-spread disappointment. And, in view of it, 
forty-two out of sixty-eight resident members of the Third 
Presbyterian Church of this city, at a church meeting held 
February 3, 1851, imitated the Presbytery of Rochester, N. 
Y., and voted that until the policy of the Assembly should be 
distinctly changed, they would stand aloof from all meetings 
of Presbytery, Synod or Assembly, and thus free themselves 
from all responsibility in the matter. This was un-Presby- 
terian and irregular, according to the standards. But these 
protesters followed conscience, not "the book;" and being 
most of them old time Congregationalists, they did as their 
fathers were wont to do. They set the local church above 
every other ecclesiastical organization, and refused to be forced 
into complicity with sin. 

The Presbytery of Chicago pronounced this action contu- 
macious, and required the Church to rescind its vote. The 
Church refused to obey the mandate, whereupon the Presby- 
tery, also forgetting " the book," without trial of the Church, 
as a body, and without directing the session to try the obnox- 
ious voters individually, summarily declared these persons cut 
off from the church by their own action, and directed the un- 
exscinded Elders of the Session to erase their names from the 



8 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

church roll. The members who were not present when the 
offensive resolution was voted, but who subsequently approved 
of it with their signatures, were, curiously enough, not disci- 
plined, and were ultimately granted regular letters of dismis- 
sion to unite with the church organized by the exscinded mem- 
bers ! Evidently, Congregationalism does not monopolize all 
the curiosities in the way of disciplinary procedure ! Even 
the most perfect system of judicatories may miss the mind of 
the spirit and judge after the flesh. There are, alas ! so few 
pots of denominational ointment that, some time or other, do 
not have their fly ! 

The exscinded forty-eight do not seem to have been greatly 
taken by surprise ; for when, during the session of the Pres- 
bytery, which was held in the Third Church, the refusal of 
the Church to rescind its obnoxious vote was announced, and 
the Moderator, Dr. R. W. Patterson, declared Mr. Philo Car- 
penter no longer a member of that body, Mr. Carpenter 
arose and quietly gave notice that regular religious services 
would be held on the following Sabbath in the lecture room of 
the church at the usual hour ! 

It appears that after the church building was erected, Mr. 
Carpenter built, at his own expense, what mechanics style 
a "lean to," as a place for holding prayer, or committee or 
sessional meetings. This addition was private property, and, as 
such, by agreement at the time, subject to Mr. Carpenter's con- 
trol until purchased by the Church. When the exscinding axe 
fell, the structure was still unpaid for ; hence the announce- 
ment noticed. Hence, also, the significant fact that, until a 
place of worship was provided by the erection of a chapel, reg- 
ular Sabbath services were continued in the same place, and at 
the same hour, with the worship in the church building proper. 
Whenever a supply could be obtained, a sermon was regularly 
preached. At other times, the brethren, by turn, read the 
Scriptures and selections from the discourses of Dr. Dwight 
or Dr. Payson ; and the congregation, it is pleasant to know, 
never fell away ! Whether the prayers and hymns and preach- 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 9 

ments of the two bands of worshipers, with only a thin wooden 
wall between them, ever clashed, does not appear. But it is 
evident that, while truth does not go by majorities, whenever 
there came a question of amens and doxologies, the outsiders 
had the best of it in the ratio of forty-two to twenty-six ; and 
some youthful church-goer of an inquiring turn is said to have 
reported that, by actual count — through a window — the " reg- 
ulars" were sometimes not more than fifteen, while the "irreg- 
ulars" numbered sixty or seventy. This was in April, 
1851. The building, then occupied as the Third Presbyterian 
Church, was a very unpretentious wooden edifice, situated on 
the west side of Union street, about half way between Wash- 
ington and Randolph streets. I am told that the structure, 
converted into a dwelling house, or houses, is still standing. 

Steps wwe immediately taken for the organization of a new 
church, as also for the erection of a chapel. And at the sec- 
ond meeting of the persons exscinded, a " Committee of Con- 
trol," consisting of six, with Philo Carpenter as Chairman, was 
appointed. Their duty was to arrange for Sabbath services 
and evening prayer meetings, and to have general oversight of 
the interests of the body. 

At the next meeting, apparently about the middle of April, 
it was voted to proceed at once to the organization of a church, 
to be called the "First Congregational Church of Chicago," 
and a committee was appointed to prepare a constitution and 
articles of faith as a basis for such organization. The Com- 
mittee of Control was also requested to confer with members 
of the Third Church in regard to an equitable division of the 
property owned in common prior to the excision. This com- 
mittee, it may be stated here, reported subsequently that they 
had held such conference, and that all attempts to secure such 
division had failed. 

The committee on constitution and articles of faith reported 
after public worship May 4, and their report was adopted 
with but one dissenting vote, that of a brother entered on the 
records as " Bro. Smith," who was "not prepared to go into 



10 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

such an organization as the one proposed." The constitution 
was not a formal one, but affirmed simply that the government 
of the church should be in accordance with Congregational 
usage, and subject to such rules and by-laws as should be 
adopted at any meeting regularly convened. The articles of 
faith, compiled, probably, from diiferent manuals in the hands 
of the committee, it is worthy of note, were, with the exception 
of a single brief phrase, and that merely transferred from one 
article to another, precisely the same as those now in our 
church manual ; while the covenant and the form used in the 
reception of members remain word for word as they were in 
the beginning. 

May 5, 1851, steps were taken toward the purchase of a 
lot owned by John Harris, and located on the southwest cor- 
ner of Washington and Jefferson streets. And the committee 
reporting upon the matter at that time — Philo Carpenter, 
Chairman — were authorized to conclude a purchase and secure 
the lot. At the same meeting, May 22 was fixed upon as the 
date for the organization of the Church. Accordingly an Ec- 
clesiastical Council, duly called by lettei's missive, convened on 
that date in the house of worship of the Canal Street Methodist 
Episcopal Church, now the Centenary Methodist Episcopal 
Church on Monroe street near Morgan. The building stood, 
I am told, just south of Randolph street, and gives significant 
indication of where the bulk of the population of that day was 
located. It may be of interest to note the composition of the 
Council. The roll was as follows: The Congregational 
Church at Milburn, Rev. William B. Dodge, Pastor ; Wauke- 
gan, Rev. B. F. Parsons, Pastor; Elgin, Rev. N. B. Clark, 
Pastor; Downer's Grove, Rev. Alanson Alvord, Pastor; New- 
ark, Rev. Lucien Farnham, Pastor ; Aurora, Rev. Daniel Mil- 
ler, Pastor; St. Charles, Alonzo Harvey, Delegate. 

These were supposably men whose trumpets gave no uncer- 
tain sound upon the matters in issue. Doubtless they came, 
taking their lives in their hands, as become anti-slavery men 
on such an errand in those days, and not forgetting their trum- 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 11 

pets ! And it may be safely affirmed, if I may judge the rest 
of the Council from good brother Farnham — now gone to his 
rest, the only one known to me — that before the Council closed 
there were quite a number of new " Amen Corners " established 
in the church building. 

The facts as to the anti-slavery feelings of that day are of 
great interest. It was hoped that Deacon Carpenter would be 
able to prepare a sketch to be read at this anniversary, giving 
some account of the spirit and efforts of the leading actors in 
that struggle of freedom against oppression, with which this 
Church was so identified. But his health has been too feeble to 
allow of such an undertaking, or of his presence at this jubilee. 

But as a part of this history, a passing word ought to be 
spoken on this matter. The odious fugitive slave law was then 
in full operation. And of consequence, nearly all Northern 
Abolitionists, preeminently those of a Congregational type, 
were enlisted, heart and soul, old and young, in the service of 
the underground railroad. Mr. Carpenter was one of the 
chief superintendents of the line, and his house and store 
famous and favorite termini. Once under his watch, no Dred 
Scott decision inspired fear. No reward bulletins on the 
street corners for the capture of " my man Pompey with a scar 
on his cheek," or "my woman Sally and two children almost 
white," ever disturbed the peace of the pilgrims. His story of 
these exciting times is wonderfully stirring. Sometimes a con- 
signment came into his yard in the shape of a load of corn- 
stalks or hay, with a layer of black faces and woolly heads 
underneath. Sometimes there were sacks of grain for the ware- 
house with a specimen or two of migrating chattels deftly hid- 
den under the seat. Mr. Carpenter had an understanding with 
the captains of the propellers, who brought goods for him from 
Buffalo, by virtue of which he was suffered to run his travelers 
on board, without the officers' knowledge, just before the plank 
was drawn in. Of course they were not discovered until the 
steamer was well on her way, and return to rectify the mistake 
was impossible ! 



12 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

On one occasion, two women, one of them the mother of 
two children, reached his house, and simultaneously posters 
were placarded on the streets minutely describing them, and 
offering a reward for their apprehension. Mr. Carpenter had 
at the time two or three stacks of hay standing close together, 
enclosed by a fence, on Lake street north of his residence, be- 
tween Morgan and Carpenter streets, now occupied by Rev. 
E. Hildreth. He contrived, with the aid of his Irishman, who 
joined heartily in the enterprise, to cut a hole into one of these 
stacks large enough to conceal these women and the children. 
And he kept them there until an opportunity offered to trans- 
fer them to a cabin in some woodland north of the city owned 
by him, and thence they caught sight of the pole star and 
found the way to Canada. It is not difficult to understand 
how people of this stamp came to have positive convictions 
on the subject of slavery and of the duties of the Church 
respecting it. 

There are no records of the proceedings of the Council 
other than this brief entry, that "after examination of 
papers, documents and the articles of faith, the following per- 
sons were constituted and recognized as the First Congrega- 
tional Church." Then follows a list of forty -eight persons, 
the first one being, as might be expected, the Boanerges of the 
enterprise, Philo Carpenter, and the next that of his wife, 
Mrs. Ann Carpenter. 

Of these forty-eight original members, ten still remain con- 
nected with the church, viz. : Deacon Philo Carpenter, Walter 
Lull, Mrs. Sarah Lull, Dr. L. H. Holbrook, Mrs. Susan Hol- 
brook, Carlile Mason, Mrs. Jane Mason, Joseph F. Lawrence, 
Mrs. Susan Lawrence, Mrs. Cornelia A. Clark ; and of those 
uniting at the next communion in July, Mrs. Mary A. R. 
Cromby and Mrs. Lavinia Morris are still members. 

The first Deacons were elected June 4, 1851, and were 
Elisha Clark and Philo Carpenter. At the same time, Walter 
Lull and Philo Carpenter were made a committee to obtain 
subscriptions to defray expenses for the current year, and also 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 13 

to procure "subscriptions to stock for a temporary meeting 
house." That Committee reported, July 21, that $500 per 
annum had been pledged ; whereupon the subscription paper 
was referred back to them, and the Committee requested to 
present the paper to all members of the congregation who had 
not seen it, and also to urge those who had signed it to increase 
their subscriptions in every case to at least "two shillings 
per week." So early in the plans of the Church did syste- 
matic beneficence come in. Let us hope it came to stay, and 
with increasing results to attest itself evermore in our history 
one of the soundest principles of gospel finance. 

So far as I can learn, there was no one stated supply of 
the pulpit through these first months. Among the occasional 
supplies, there appear the names of Rev. Jonathan Blanchard, 
Rev. Julian M. Sturtevant, Rev. J.' E. Roy, Rev. Epaphras 
Goodman, Rev. Owen Lovejoy. Such names are suggestive. 
The new Church was clearly no foundlings' hospital, with two 
or three scores of theological or political babies to be nursed 
into ability to go alone. Speaking anti-slavery wise, there 
were giants in those days, and it took strong meat and plenty 
of it, to satisfy a church profoundly believing slavery to be 
the sum of all villainies. But with such supplies the Church 
never went hungry ! 

The first call to the pastorate was given October 13, 1851, 
to Rev. J. M. Davis, and $800 named as the salary. Mr. 
Davis had visited the church and supplied the pulpit for a 
brief period. He, however, declined the call in December of the 
same year. Rev. Owen Lovejoy was then unanimously invited 
to the pastorate. The records show no response to this call, 
but it proved ineffectual, and June 1, 18o2, Rev. J. M. 
Williams was invited to become supply for six months. Mr. 
Williams accepted the invitation, and at the close of his en- 
gagement, was invited and consented to continue his services 
indefinitely, either party to be privileged to terminate the 
relation by giving three months' notice. The salary was 
probably $800, the sum named in the calls previously given. 



14 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

There is no record of the completion and dedication of the 
first house of worship erected by the Church, but it appears 
that pending negotiations for the purchase of the lot to which 
allusion has been made, on the corner of Washington and 
Jefferson streets, a very plain and cheap structure, possibly 
40x60 feet in size, Avas built on ground controlled by Deacon 
Carpenter, on Washington street, near Union, just east of 
where Judge W. W. Farwell now resides. This building was 
destroyed by fire in June, 1853, and before it had stood a year, 
Rev. J. E. Roy preaching the last sermon therein. 

In this hour of their calamity, as on a similar occasion at 
a later date, the brethren found quick and hearty sympathizers. 
Two houses of worship were proffered them ; one, it is gratify- 
ing to know, as showing how rapidly the animosities of the 
earlier day passed into the oblivion that should be the common 
and speedy grave of all differences among Christian people — 
one came from the Third Presbyterian Church. The other 
came from the Baptist Tabernacle Church, located on Des- 
plaines street, between Randolph and Washington, and was 
accepted. The fact is noteworthy ; for this Church, becoming 
subsequently the Second Baptist Church, is the very Church 
in whose commodious house, on the corner of Monroe and 
Morgan streets, we found such generous and affectionate wel- 
come, when, twenty years after its first misfortune, this Church 
was a second time rendered houseless by fire. There can be 
no doubt after this that our Baptist brethren have a most 
kindly leaning toward us ; are even willing to take us into 
closest fellowship, though we be dry as the cinders that rattled 
off our hats the night of the conflagration. And having been 
twice put under such bonds of obligation to these dear brethren, 
I am sure we must all stand ready to admit the whole river 
Jordan into our creed, and the largest style of baptistry 
into our next house of worship ! 

The burning of the chapel caused a change in the plans of 
the Church. A westward drift of population had set in, and 
the result was, that the lot on which it had been proposed to 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 15 

build was exchanged with Deacon Carpenter for one on the 
southwest corner of Green and Washington streets. This lot 
was one hundred feet square and was valued at $6,000. The 
lot transferred paid $4,000 of this sum ; the balance of $2,000 
was arranged to lie as a funded debt for ten years, at six per 
cent. A building committee, consisting of Philo Carpenter, 
Walter Lull and T. M. Avery, was appointed to report plans 
and estimates for the erection of a substantial building. 
Meanwhile a cheap wooden structure was built on Green street, 
just south of where the neAv edifice was to be, and services 
were held there until the stone church was ready for dedica- 
tion. This chapel is still standing, and, as I observed the 
other day, is headquarters for quite a colony of colored people 
and also for calsomining. So it is still true to its anti-slavery 
traditions, and still insists on having things pure. 

Rev. J. M. Williams tendered his resignation as acting 
Pastor, December 1, 1853, and January 2, 1854, Rev. W. A. 
Nichols was invited to supply the pulpit for six months. At 
the close of this period, Rev. G. W. Perkins, of Meriden, 
Conn., was unanimously invited to become Pastor of the 
Church at a salary of $1,500. Mr. Perkins accepted the 
call, began his labors on the third Sabbath of September fol- 
lowing, and on January 4, 1855, was installed Pastor. By a 
strange oversight, there is no entry in the records of the 
Church respecting either the composition of this Council or 
its action. 

This closes what may be termed the first epoch of the 
history of the Church. There may be said of it, in brief, that 
it was a period not unworthy to be named with that of the 
first; of all Congregational Churches. It was marked by the 
spirit of Pentecost. There was most perfect accord of thought 
and feeling, great steadfastness in doctrine, great joy in fel- 
lowship, great zeal in service for Christ. And I judge from^the 
few hints afforded by the records, that, while the members of 
the little Church praised God in worship and in work, they 
had increasing favor with the people. One hundred members 



16 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

were received between the date of organization and the installa- 
tion of Mr. Perkins, and the fact that of that number twenty- 
six united by profession, indicates clearly that the thought of 
the people was fixed, not upon the matter of their growth, but 
on that higher and only true aim of every church — the ad- 
vancement of the Kingdom of God by the salvation of souls. 

I find only one record respecting the benevolence of the 
Church during this period, and that is a statement incidentally 
made, that $2,500 had been raised by a committee, apart from 
moneys needed for current expenses. And this was by vote 
apportioned among various benevolent objects. The character 
of the membership is ample guaranty that the givings of this 
early day were both systematic and generous. Indeed, I sus- 
pect that if we knew the facts, 'we might have occasion to blush 
at our failure to come up to the standard of our large-hearted 
ancestry. 

The next epoch of our history may be considered as ex- 
tending from the installation of Rev. G. W. Perkins, January 
4, 1855, to the installation of Rev. W. W. Patton, January 8, 
1857, a period of two years. 

The first work of Mr. Perkins shows itself in the revision 
of the Constitution and rules of the Church. As the organiza- 
tion grew there was need of correspondent growth in 
methods of administration. Great principles of church gov- 
ernment, like those of civil law, need to be expounded and 
their just applications to particular cases laid down. This was 
what Mr. Perkins set himself to do. As the result, general 
doctrines of usage were reduced to specific rules relating to 
the admission of members, the administration of discipline, the 
election of officers and the general management of the interests 
of the Church. There was, as yet, no society organization dis- 
tinct from that of the Church. Church members and non- 
church members holding pews, were alike entitled to vote on 
all matters pertaining to the pecuniary affairs of the body, and 
also the election and dismission of the Pastor. But upon mat- 
ters affecting the spiritual welfare of the Church, such as the 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 17 

reception and dismission of members, the election of Deacons, 
the alteration of the articles of faith, only church members 
above eighteen years of age were allowed to vote. 

March 5, 1855, John Sheriffs, whose name is attached to 
every record, thus far, from the beginning, ceased to be Clerk, 
and Rev. G. W. Perkins took his place. 

The new church was now approaching completion. Ac- 
cordingly, it was voted, September 13, 1855, that the pews 
should be sold, deeds of ownership being given to purchasers, 
and that each subscriber to the building fund should receive 
the amount of his subscription in pews, said pews to be sub- 
ject to an annual tax in behalf of the current expenses of the 
church, not to exceed ten per cent, of the valuation. The 
amount of total assessment on the pews, it had been agreed 
beforehand, should not be less than $30,000. 

The date of dedication of the new house is not recorded. 
It was probably some time in October, 1855. Some of you, 
doubtless, well remember the occasion. It must have been one 
of peculiar and joyful thanksgiving. Turned out of house 
once ; burned out once; not a little jeered at as the " nigger 
church ;" compelled to steady sacrifices ; meeting here and there, 
and having at best only chapels that were inconvenient and 
unattractive ; this dedication day must have been much like a 
good ship's casting anchor in a peaceful harbor after long buf- 
feting with storms. The edifice then consecrated was, as it 
still remains to witness, a structure for the times of unusual 
substantialness and comfort. Compared with its predecessors, 
it might even be. called elegant. Entering it on this occasion 
with the first settled Pastor ; with the atmosphere of the young 
city growing hot with the fever of speculation and business 
enterprise, and hence a steady tide of prosperity setting in ; 
with a foremost position already assured among the churches 
of its order in the region, and every year certain to magnify 
it ; with all things, in short, full of promise for the future, it 
would have been strange if the Church did not keep high 
jubilee. And I imagine that as some of you here present re- 



18 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

call that day, you remember how you, and the dear brethren 
and sisters of that blessed fellowship, walked about your new 
Zion, told her towers, marked her bulwarks, and then lifted 
up your voices with a tearful joy as you said: "The Lord 
hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." I con- 
fess it moistens my eyes and makes my blood tingle, even at 
this day, to picture the scene. 

But one fact connected with this transition strikes me as 
su^o-estive. You will pardon, I trust, the reminiscence and 
accept the application. The original estimates of the build- 
ing committee and the plans they proposed, which were 
adopted, put the probable cost of the house at $15,000. It is 
quite likely that there was a subsequent reconsideration of the 
matter and that a modification of plans, involving a larger ex- 
penditure, was agreed on. If so, no record of the fact appears. 
However that may be, when Mr. Perkins makes his first report 
after the dedication of the church, he states the cost to have 
been $40,000. And in January, 1856, the records show that 
there was a church debt of $16,000. 

Those were days when, it is fair to suppose, economy in 
church building, especially among young churches, was care- 
fully studied and faithfully applied. No doubt our predecess- 
ors builded as cheaply as they could, or as was wise, and none 
of us are disposed, I imagine, to criticise their expenditures as 
wasteful or extravagant. But we are wont to hear much in 
these times about forgetting economy, exceeding estimates, 
rolling up huge, unwarranted debts, and the like. There 
is too much reason, doubtless, for such remarks. But it may 
tend to cool our indignation somewhat to remember that our 
fathers, blessed economists, and away beyond these sorry days 
of dishonesty and pilfering too, did not succeed in working 
out their theories and dodging debts in church building any bet- 
ter than we have done. For $16,000 debt, with a member- 
ship of one hundred and thirty-five, is equal to $118,000 
debt with a membership of one thousand ; and this was just 
about the highest figure our debt ever reached, and reached, 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 19 

too, when the cost of building was unprecedentedly heavy, and 
the management of our enterprise peculiarly unfortunate. They 
paid their debt, and paid it, so far as I can learn, without 
grumbling, although a panic burst upon them and very nearly 
prostrated business of every description. And what is more, 
they thought they had a home worth the cost. So let us pay 
our debt with as much cheerfulness, and think as well of our 
church home. And then — let us be as wise as anybody wishes 
us to be about getting caught again. 

Dec. 18, 1855, the salary of Mr. Perkins was raised to 
$2,000, and this, with a membership of only one hundred and 
thirty-five, and $16,000 of debt, was certainly appreciative and 
generous. After the occupancy of the new house of worship, 
a peculiar zest was infused into every department of church 
life. The social feeling was greatly stimulated, strangers were 
carefully looked after and made welcome, and great warmth 
of fellowship realized. The activities of the Church also 
showed unwonted vigor ; members were responsive to appeals 
for every species of Christian service, and everything wore an 
aggressive look. The acorn was beginning to reveal the oak ; 
the child was taking on the measure of the stature of the man. 

Then in an outer range of relations the young organiza- 
tion was making itself potential, was lisping the prophecy 
which its elder day was so nobly to fulfill. Early after his 
coming to Chicago, Mr. Perkins became closely identified with 
two enterprises that lay near the hearts of all lovers of the 
old paths and the good way, whose lot was cast in the great 
West. And in no hearts had they larger or warmer place 
than in the hearts of the members of this Church. I refer to 
the establishment of a Congregational newspaper, and also a 
Congregational Theological Seminary. 

Some years prior to Mr. Perkins' removal from the East, 
a newspaper known as the Congregational Herald had been 
started in this city. Rev. J. C. Holbrook, now Superintendent 
of Home Missions for the State of New York, seems to have 
been 'the prime mover in the enterprise, although it was 



20 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

heartily endorsed, and at once taken in hand, by all the leading 
brethren of the denomination in the vicinity. The paper was 
designed to take the place of the Prairie Herald, a paper con- 
ducted by Rev. J. B. Walker as chief editor, and carried on 
in the interests of the old plan of union. The Congregational 
Churches felt that they needed an organ with no gag in its 
mouth, an outspoken advocate of their interests. Hence the 
new paper was put into the field with Rev. Darius E. Jones as 
its first office editor, and Rev. J. E. Roy, Rev. W. A. Nichols, 
as editors in chief. Subsequently Rev. H. L. Hammond came 
to the city to work up the enterprise, and to act as office 
editor, and Rev. S. C. Bartlett joined the editorial corps. 
Mr. Perkins took his place at once as a co-editor, and con- 
tinued in that position till his death. These services, those of 
office editor excepted, were all gratuitous, and were rendered 
solely in the interests of the denomination as an agency for 
extending the Gospel. The paper stood staunchly by our 
Congregational faith, and sought to rally our Churches upon 
that platform as against the plan of union. It pressed 
with all its might the doctrine upon which this Church had 
planted itself in the beginning, viz., the sin of slavery and of 
all complicity with it in whatever form. It urged also the 
early establishment of a Theological Seminary as a prime 
necessity of the Congregational Churches of the West. And 
thus it became recognized as the only paper west of New 
York wholly devoted to Congregational interests. 

The other project — that of the Theological Seminary — was 
in its inception still more closely related to this Church. Rev. 
Stephen Peet so long and widely known as one of the great 
missionary pioneers of the West, was undoubtedly its origina- 
tor. But when, after various conferences, things took shape 
in April, 1854, it was in the .rooms of the Congregational 
Herald, with Philo Carpenter as Chairman of the meeting, 
and Rev. G. W. Perkins as one of the foremost counselors. 
The result of this and other meetings was the determination 
to have a Seminary, the calling of the Triennial Convention 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 21 

of September, 1854, and the organization of a Board of 
Directors in March, 1855, with both gentlemen just mentioned 
among its members. And from that day to this, the Board 
has always had one member of the Church and sometimes 
three in its counsels, and similarly of the Executive Com- 
mittee. 

Matters were in this condition, the Church just beginning 
to demonstrate the royal possibilities that were in it, when, on 
Nov. 13, 1856, both the Church and the denomination in this 
region were inexpressibly saddened by Mr. Perkins' sudden 
death. I cannot take the time here to set forth in fitting terms 
the character and the work of this man of God. And there 
is the less need of this, since the Church with touching and 
grateful appreciation has spread upon its records a most loving 
testimonial of his rare ability and worth. Indeed I have yet 
to see that eulogium upon any man's character, or life, or 
work, that for affectionateness of spirit, range of qualities 
admired, and glowing emphasis of encomium, is to be named 
with this tribute to the first Pastor of this Church. If Mr. 
Perkins was the half of what is there set forth, either as a 
man or a minister, he must have been a marvel, a kind of 
Boanerges and Barnabas combined — such as the Church and 
the world seldom see. If you can only say of my Brother 
Patton and myself, when our work is done, that we were not 
unworthy to be his successors, it will be eulogy enough. It 
should be added, that a marble tablet suitably inscribed was 
provided by vote of the Church, and placed in the vestibule of 
the house of worship.* 

During the Pastorate of Mr. Perkins there were added to 
the Church one hundred and thirty-four persons ; forty-nine 
by profession and eighty-five by letter. There was one quite 
marked revival in this period, beginning early in 1856 in con- 
nection with the labors of Rev. John T. Avery, the Evangelist. 
As the first fruits of that work thirty-five were received by 

* This tablet was removed when the house was sold, deposited in the new edifice, 
of Ann and Washington streets, and shared the fate of that building. 



22 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

profession at the May communion of that year. Among this 
number, I find the names of Thomas M. Avery, Dennison F. 
Groves, John C. Wiswell, John W. Stanley, Mrs. Maria Hall, 
Mary J. Hall (now Mrs. Smith), Charles H. Merrill, who are 
still members of the Church ; Mrs. Margaret S. Avery, deceased; 
John M. Williams and Mrs. Elizabeth C. Williams, now mem- 
bers of the Congregational Church, Evanston : Abby A. Han- 
son, now Mrs. D. W. Whittle, also united at the same time 
upon profession of faith. At the July communion there were 
received by profession Dwight T. Williams and Miss Viola E. 
Culver, still members ; also Walter V. Coe, subsequently a 
Deacon and first Superintendent of one of the Mission Schools, 
and now resident in New Haven, Connecticut. 

There are no records of the benevolences of the church 
during this period. But roses seldom bloom, or peach trees 
bear fruit, only on one branch. I assume that, with such a 
Pastor, and such necessities and such enterprises pressing the 
Church, these must have been years of pre-eminent liberality. 
And if the books of the Northwestern Branch of the American 
Missionary Association, and the Theological Seminary and the 
Congregational Herald could be examined, no doubt they 
would give ample proof that the grace of giving was not 
neglected. 

This brings us to the third epoch of church history, ex- 
tending from the installation of Rev. W. W. Patton, January 
8, 1857, to that of the present Pastor, January 10, 1868, a 
period of eleven years. Thus far I have aimed to be some- 
what minute in the account of historical matters. I have sup- 
posed that these earlier and less-known facts would possess the 
greater interest. Furthermore, the real secret of the growth 
and fruitfulness of every tree lies, not in the branches, 
but in the roots. Hence these explorations as to the begin- 
nings, the seed-corns of our history. The time for Brother 
Patton's biography and for mine has hardly come. If they 
are worth the writing, those who come after us will find it out, 
and vou can have them at the next Quarter-Centennial. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 23 

I shall endeavor to pass more lightly over what remains, 
touching only the more salient and characteristic features of 
church life and work. 

Dr. Patton was called to the pastorate of this Church No- 
vember 25, 1856, at a salary of $2,000 ; amended, December 
10, and made $2,500; the expenses of removal from Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, to be met by the Church. The call was 
accepted, and the services of installation, with Dr. H. D. 
Kitchel, of Detroit, as Moderator of the very large Ecclesiasti- 
cal Council, took place January 8, 1857. 

We hear much in these times about ministers soliciting 
places, and being always on the qui vive to embrace any pleas- 
ant opportunity to enter a larger field ; and as much, also, 
about churches with itching ears, covetous of men who are 
original, fresh, racy, who can make the Gospel almost as enter- 
taining as rostrum lectures, and the house of God as attractive 
as a theater. Here, now, were a minister and a church of a dif- 
ferent stamp. On the minister's side, we have it, in his letter 
of acceptance of the call, that, consulting his feelings, he did 
not wish to come ; that to sunder the old relations was " the 
most painful act of his life;" that "nothing but a sense of 
duty," and that "under the advice of a council, would have 
induced him to take such a step." And when I think of what 
that step involved — an Editorship, a Directorship in a theolog- 
ical seminary, membership of half a dozen committees connected 
with denominational matters — all this, besides a host of mis- 
cellaneous duties and the regular work of a growing church — 
I do not wonder at his reluctance. 

On the part of the Church, it is patent from the character 
of Dr. Patton's predecessor and the quality of his work, from 
the peculiar and exacting duties which the pastorate involved, 
that there underlay the call as its inspiring cause no persuasion 
that the new minister would distinguish himself by excellency 
of speech, or attract popular notice and build up the Church 
by extraordinary pulpit pyrotechnics. The one motive dominant 
in bringing about this compact was preeminently a desire to 



24 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

advance the kingdom of Christ. And after the new relation 
was consummated, the Church, with a grace as beautiful as it 
is rare, conscious of the great gift it had asked of the Church 
bereft of its pastor, appointed a committee, of which Judge 
W. W. Farwell was chairman, to convey to the Fourth Church 
of Hartford, Connecticut, a letter of sympathy and Christian 
regard. 

I hardly need say that the Church now entered upon a 
career of great prosperity. The hand of a skilled organizer 
shows itself everywhere. For the first time in all these years, 
the Church records emerge from chaos. There are no more 
ugly gaps, stretches of years and half years with hardly a hint 
of what was doing, as if the Church had buried itself among 
the catacombs, and nobody knew of its weal. There are no 
more omissions of dates, or of entries as to those received 
into membership, or those disciplined, or dismissed. What- 
ever was acted upon by the Church, down to the last report, 
or resolution, or vote, found, as it ought, its place in the min- 
utes. Nothing was too trivial to be recorded. And upon every 
matter of interest pertaining to the Church where no formal 
action was taken, such entry was made as would serve to 
complete the history. Only such a model of exactness as the 
Clerk whose guardianship of its records the Church is now 
privileged to enjoy, and whose vigilant pen nothing escapes — 
J. W. Sykes — could dispute the palm with Dr. Patton. 

Next in this line of organization came a thorough re- 
modeling of the Constitution of the Church, and the addition 
of a compact between the Church and the Society which now 
became, for the first time, a body distinct from the Church. 
Then systematic benevolence came into the foreground, the 
months of the year being assigned to various charitable causes, 
and a strict surveillance exercised lest there should be wolves 
in sheep's clothing among the beneficiaries of the Church. 
And here and there a record reads very much as if now and 
then one was believed to be discovered, and was summarily 
pounced upon and choked oft* from such unscriptural stealings. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 25 

Possibly it ought to be said, that neither the New York Tract 
Society, nor the Home Missionary Society, nor the American 
Board, all of which came under suspicion prior to their 
getting clear of slavery relationships, shared this estimate of 
their claims ! 

As the result in part of such methods, and of the earnest 
and persistent advocacy of the grand doctrines of the grace 
and luxury of giving, and the obligations of Christian steward- 
ship, the annual contributions of the Church were carried up 
from an average of $1,500 to $4,000. And some years the 
total of benevolence, including donations to the Theological 
Seminary, touched a point as high as $17,000. 

Dr. Patton took at once the place of his esteemed prede- 
cessor in the joint editorship of the Congregational Herald. 
He had been called, among other things, to lay his hand to 
that particular work ; and like his brother editors he gave to 
its duties every week the minister's traditional Sunday, taking 
his weekly rest fighting anti-slavery battles with his pen, and 
compounding newspaper theology. The Herald served its gen- 
eration to the extent of the purses — not the brains — that were 
behind it, and then, in the early years of the war, fell asleep. 
The full orbed glory of the Independent, then in its zenith, 
seems to have paled it into a rushlight, and dearth of sub- 
scribers soon furnished an extinguisher. 

But the loss was keenly felt. And out of this feeling ulti- 
mately, although not until the fall of 1867, came the Advance, 
with Dr. Patton as editor in chief. He was chosen to this 
position while Pastor of the Church, and only accepted it after 
being unanimously advised so to do by one of the largest and 
most representative Councils ever assembled in the West. His 
relation to the paper onlv hints at the real relation to it sus- 
tained by this Church. That appears decisively in the fact, 
that originally a full half or more of its Board of Directors 
were members of this Church, and that not less than $50,000, 
or fully four-fifths of all the capital stock subscribed, were put 
into the enterprise by the Church. And it is to be noted that 



26 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

this money was given without a dollar of return. Very few 
of those subscribing ever expected any ; they gave their money 
to this object as they did to Foreign Missions, or Home Mis- 
sions, for the sake of the good to be done, and the Gospel in- 
terests to be furthered. 

How well my brother did his editorial work, you know as 
well as I. We have no need as a Church to be ashamed of 
his record. I do not hesitate to say, and I think I speak the 
general conviction of my brethren in the ministry, and of other 
denominations, too, that the paper was under his editorship 
second to no religious journal of the land. It may even be 
questioned whether Dr. Patton could have done as much for the 
establishment of Christianity during those years in his old 
pulpit, as he did in the Sanctum of the Advance. 

I have spoken before of the close relationship sustained by 
this Church to our Theological Seminary. Let me here sup- 
plement my former statement. It was understood, before Dr. 
Patton came, that he was to take Mr. Perkins' place in the 
Board of Directors of that institution. He was accordingly 
elected to fill the vacancy on the day following his installation, 
and from that time until the present, has continued a member 
of the Board, as also of the Executive Committee. A part 
of the time, as has been noted, two other members of the 
Church have served in a like capacity. 

These members of the Board were not ornamental. They 
were there to do hard work — the hardest kind of work — to 
provide the new institution with professors, funds, buildings, 
endowments, working appliances of every kind. They were, 
in short, to turn the previous plans into substantial realities, 
and carry the project up to an assured success. And the 
pressure was urgent to have this done at once. They grappled 
the task in earnest. The first class was organized in 1858, 
under Prof. S. C. Bartlett and Prof. Joseph Haven, in the 
study of the old Green Street Church ; and during the first 
year of the Seminary's history, all the sessions were held there 
and in the Church Parlor adjoining. In addition to this, the 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 27 

students, eighteen in number, were provided with homes, 
in the main gratuitously, among the families of the Church. 
And one of this first class was one of the original members of 
the Church. The next year, a donation of land having been 
made by Philo Carpenter, the Seminary opened its sessions 
upon its own territory. But the building occupied was one 
belonging to the West Mission of the Church, the Church 
donating its use, and moving it from its former location for the 
purpose of accommodating the Seminary. 

But there was more substantial help rendered than this. 
There came a time when the new institution was without 
funds. The professors were discouraged, and had in mind 
the surrender of their positions on the ground of inade- 
quate support. At this juncture, Mr. Carpenter came to the 
rescue, pledged to the three professors $5,000 apiece toward 
the endowment of their chairs, and the anticipated break did 
not occur. Other givings in a like spirit followed, and I am 
authorized to say that fully one-fifth of the entire property of 
the Seminary, valued at $356,000, has been contributed by this 
Church, Deacon Philo Carpenter giving not far from $50,000 
of the amount. When it is remembered that the constituency 
of the Seminary embraces the States of Indiana, Michigan, 
Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, 
the record of this Church is certainly creditable. I only hope 
it will continue to be as good for all the years to come. 

As a further record of the interest felt in the Seminary by 
this Church, one other fact ought to be stated. After the 
great fire of October, 1871, the present Pastor was, by vote of 
the Executive Committee, urged to undertake the securing of 
relief at the East to avoid the closing of the institution, which 
then seemed inevitable without such aid. The Church responded 
generously to that appeal, and at a time when its own inter- 
ests very especially needed its Pastor's presence, gave him 
up for six weeks of such service. The plea for the Seminary 
being made in connection with pleas for the New England 
Church, whose house had been burned, and for other Churches 



28 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

whose resources had been cut off by the fire, the Seminary 
realized only a few thousand dollars out of this effort. But 
the thorough loyalty of the Church to the institution was 
conspicuously shown. It was willing to suffer loss itself, rather 
than see the work of the Seminary checked, or its interests 
imperiled. 

For the sake of giving unity to the record of Sabbath 
school work, which constituted a kind of epoch of its own, I 
have purposely omitted thus far any allusion thereto. The 
Church had hearty faith in such efforts, for Deacon Carpenter 
had organized the first Sunday school held in the city. There 
was, accordingly, a school from the beginning, even prior to 
the formal organization of the Church. Deacon Amos Hol- 
brook was first Superintendent. He was followed by E. S. 
Warner, who held that position for nine fruitful years. He 
had the gratification of seeing the school swell its membership 
to two hundred, and the greater joy of seeing the labors of 
himself and his co-workers owned of God, and many of the 
dear children gathered into the fold of the Church. His suc- 
cessor in the superintendency was Dr. W. W. Patton, Pastor 
of the Church. Those were days when Sunday schools held 
a lesser place than that now accorded as agencies of winning 
souls. Usually they were crowded in between the morn- 
ing and afternoon services. The exercises were hurried, 
children and teachers were more or less fatigued from the 
morning service, and the results were unsatisfactory. This 
Church was one of the first to note the evil, and to attempt 
better things by putting its second service into the evening 
and giving the afternoon to the Sunday school. This 
arrangement proved eminently wise. It not only largely in- 
creased the interest of the Sunday school, but it opened the 
way for that wonderful era of mission schools, which is one of 
the grandest features in this quarter-centennial service. 

It would appear that, at this date, very little was known in 
the city of such kind of work. So far as I can learn, there 
were but two mission schools carried on — one in the North and 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 29 

another in the South Division. This Church was thus a kind 
of pioneer in efforts of this character. Its first enterprise 
was the Edwards Mission. This grew out of the labors of 
Rev. W. A. Nichols. After ceasing to act as supply for the 
Church, he became interested in a section of the city lying 
between Jefferson street and the river, built, at his own cost, 
a chapel on Jefferson street, south of Van Buren, lived in the 
rear, and held preaching services as well as Sunday school on 
the Sabbath. Subsequently, the mission, with its chapel, was 
moved to the corner of Halsted and Harrison streets and a 
Church organized, a number of members leaving the home 
Church for that purpose. For various reasons, among which 
were its proximity to the mother Church and also to the South 
Mission, the enterprise, although liberally supported by the 
Church, and embracing some of its most active and energetic 
workers among its members, never proved a success, and 
finally passed into the hands of the Presbyterians, and was 
known as the Seventh Presbyterian Church of troublous 
history. At a later date it was reorganized as a mission 
of the Third Presbyterian Church, and is now the West- 
minster Presbyterian Church, corner of Peoria and Jackson 
streets. 

Next came the South Mission. This was organized on a 
hot July day of 1856, in the open air on the shady side of the 
Foster School, near the corner of Halsted and Twelfth streets, 
with twenty-six children present, and Deacon Walter V. Coe 
as Superintendent. Disappointed as to the occupancy of the 
school building, which had been promised them, they deter- 
mined to have a building of their own, and have it at once. 
W. N. Mills proffered the use of a lot on the opposite corner 
of the same streets. T. M. Avery, J. H. Pearson and others 
promised lumber. John Cary pledged tar and gravel for 
the roof, and before that first session of the school broke up, 
a building committee was appointed and notice given that 
the school would meet next Sabbath in its own chapel. And 
when the next Sabbath came there was the building ready, 



30 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

Chicago fashion, and with nearly two hundred children on 
hand to fill it. The structure was speedily enlarged and 
at once occupied, enlarged again and then crowded, not less 
than five hundred children b#jng often in actual attendance. 
Deacon Coe continued to act as Superintendent with great 
efficiency and success for two years, and was followed by 
Ansel B. Cook, who held the position four years. His 
story, and doubtless -other workers in the field could match 
it out of their experience, sounds like a romance. He picked 
up, for example, a class of twelve boys, taking three or four 
of them out of saloons, partly intoxicated — one of them al- 
most helplessly so. In the issue all but one were hopefully 
converted ; two are to-day prominent members of the Cente- 
nary M. E. Church, one is a minister of the Gospel, and the 
worst one of the whole class succeeded him as Superintendent 
of the school ! 

Preaching was early associated with the work, a service 
conducted by the Pastor of the Church being regularly held 
after the session of school. There was also a weekly prayer 
meeting, sustained chiefly by the teachers, some of whom, 
though coming a great distance, were always in attendance. 
The self-denial, and zeal, and faithful labor always characteristic 
of those engaged in this enterprise had their reward in a con- 
stant state of religious interest. Few weeks passed without 
conversions, few seasons without revivals, and during one win- 
ter, that of 1856-57, not less than sixty were believed to be 
truly led to Christ. It seems almost a strange thing that such 
a school should be given up. But there was a feeling that 
the Edwards Church, as the older organization, had a claim to 
the ground, and was prejudiced by another work carried on in 
its vicinity. Then the Methodist brethren were anxious to 
establish a church in that locality, and solicited the control of 
the school. The result was that, after a career of great pros- 
perity and marked spiritual fruitfulness, the Mission passed 
into the hands of the Methodists and became what is now the 
Maxwell Street M. E. Church. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 31 

Next came, in 1857, two schools to the north of the 
Church. One, known as the Industrial Mission, and having 
for its primary object to teach girls how to do plain sewing and 
how to read, was opened with Mrs. Julia A. Warner at the head, 
on North Union street, near the river, and held its sessions on 
a week day. Naturally this soon came to have a Sunday 
school connected with it, of which E. S. Warner was the first 
Superintendent. The other school, known as the North Mis- 
sion, was opened on Rucker street, near Fourth, the second 
Sabbath of June, 1857. Its first session was held in an unused 
car-shop of the Chicago and Galena Railroad, permission being- 
given by Col. C. G. Hammond, then in charge of the road. 
James A. Kinney was the first Superintendent, T. T. Gurney 
Assistant Superintendent, and Mr. Gurney with his own hands 
shoveled out the dirt and put things into such shape as would 
allow of the holding of the school. This building continued 
to be used until a chapel was secured, in the fall of the year. 
This was burned in January following, through the instigation 
or agency of the Romanists of the neighborhood who were bit- 
terly hostile to the movement. A new chapel was erected 
soon after, at the corner of Curtis and Third streets, and the 
school, under the earnest leadership of W. N. Mills, attained a 
noted success, reaching a membership of four hundred. 

Ultimately these two Missions, the Industrial and the 
North, were consolidated into the Tabernacle Mission, and 
assumed a permanent location at the corner of Indiana and 
Morgan streets. Dr. J. H. Hollister, T. T. Gurney and Maj. 
D. W. Whittle were successively in charge of the enterprise. 
It is difficult, not to say impossible, to tell the story of this 
wonderful work. The same spirit of enthusiastic and self- 
denying devotion noted in the South Mission prevailed here. 
The teachers, many of them, though compelled to make long 
pilgrimages to be at their posts, were seldom absent. They 
were faithful to the weekly prayer meetings also. They gave 
for the support of the school with almost unexampled liber- 
ality. One officer told me that out of a salary of $1,500 he 



32 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

gave for a number of years $400 ; and this while making the 
fires, sweeping out the room, and doing anything that was 
needed to keep things moving. Another is known to have- 
given some years $1,000 toward the expenses of- the work. 
And all those engaged showed this spirit. They coveted 
souls, and to win them they gave, and visited, and worked, 
and prayed with untiring devotion. And, as was to be ex- 
pected, their efforts were abundantly blessed. The school 
marched steadily on in numbers until its average attendance 
under Maj. Whittle was a thousand, and it would have been 
twice that just as easily, had there been any place for the chil- 
dren that swarmed in. Revival followed revival, or rather a con- 
tinuous revival ran through the year. It was the exception when 
at the weekly inquiry meeting there were no new cases of those 
ready to come out on the Lord's side. Among many interest- 
ing features that characterized the labors in this field, none 
was more noteworthy for its great success than the mothers' 
meeting. This was a monthly gathering of mothers, originated 
in February, 1863, and chiefly under the care of Mrs. H. R. 
Hubbard, although Mrs. W. W. Patton and Mrs. Susan T. Wills 
aided in the earlier meetings. Its special aim was the conver 
sion of the children of those who should meet together. But 
after a few gatherings it became evident that God was going to 
use the meeting in a far larger way. Impenitent mothers be- 
gan to attend, not infrequently Romanists and those who had 
been great neglecters of religion, and sometimes those who- 
had been scoffers or notoriously low. Following their attend- 
ance came their conversion, then that of their children, then 
that of their husbands. The records of this meeting show 
amazing results. From an attendance at the outset of three, 
the number ran up to ninety-seven, with an average in 1870 
of fifty-eight for the meetings of the whole year. And three 
hundred different mothers are known to have attended. Here 
an entry shows that " seventeen rose for prayers;" there, that 
"six more were rejoicing in new hopes." Now we read that 
"during the year ten mothers were brought to Christ;" again,. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 33 

that "fourteen had expressed hope." One brief record states 
that "ten of the husbands had been converted within the year," 
and another, that "thirty of the children had been led into the 
fold." And so the story goes on with its blessed witness to 
the answers of prayer and the mighty power of the grace of 
God. It is impossible to measure the results of such a work 
as this, much more that of the whole enterprise. But with a 
Church numbering nearly four hundred members ; a Sabbath 
school of a thousand ; .with three young men now fitting for the 
ministry, two of whom converted on the ground, have been 
signally instrumental in securing during the present year such 
a revival as Princeton College has never known, — we cannot 
fail to recognize the special guidance of God in the establish- 
ment of these schools, and to give devout thanks for what He 
gave the Church to do thereby toward the advancement of 
His kingdom. 

In 1858, there was established the West Mission. This 
school was organized under Dr. J. H. Hollister and T. L. Miller, 
upon the open prairie, and held its sessions upon the green 
grass for six weeks. Subsequently it obtained permission to 
occupy certain unfinished houses in the vicinity, and went from 
one to another as they were completed until it had occupied four. 
Its chapel, which came in due time, stood near where the Brown 
School now is. This was removed in 1859 to the corner of Ash- 
land avenue and Washington street, in order, as has been noted, 
to afford quarters for the Theological Seminary. In return for 
this, the professors conducted a Sabbath morning service in 
the chapel. It is a decisive proof of the wisdom of this enter- 
prise and of the quality of the work done in it, that in May, 
1860, within two years of the opening of the Mission, it 
issued in the organization of the Union Park Congregational 
Church. 

In 1865, another school was opened in connection with 
the Union Park Church, at the corner of Paulina and Second 
streets, with Walter N. Mills as Superintendent. The hardest 
of pioneer work was done here. The boys were rough and 

c 



34 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

unruly, coming often to the school with pistols in their 
ets and oaths on their lips. One Sunday the Assistant 
Superintendent came with a policeman's star on his coat, 
having been sworn in as a special officer to preserve order. 
But the Gospel proved sufficient. Christian love and patience 
subdued the turbulent spirits, and in a short time the school 
proved a grand success. The Union Park people soon 
withdrawing through the demands of their home work, the 
Mission was carried on by this Church, and resulted in the 
organization of Bethany Congregational Church, October, 1868. 

In all these mission fields the practice was to hold a prayer 
meeting every week, have a preaching service on the Sabbath 
so far as that was practicable, and once in three months have 
a grand rally at the home Church, with reports, exercises in 
song, recitations of scripture, addresses from the Superintend- 
ents, and an address or scripture exposition by the Pastor. 

It almost takes one's breath away to read the story of such 
activity and on such a scale. And it certainly makes one's 
cheeks burn to contrast the enterprises of the church then with 
what we are doing to-day. Think of it, brethren. Three 
schools carried on for years, and part of the time four or five, 
besides the home school, aggregating from twelve to fifteen hun- 
dred children : three or four chapels provided, and these 
enlarged as there was need ; teachers supplied, and books and 
musical instruments ; prayer meetings kept up weekly, and a 
vast amount of visiting done among the families on the fields : 
all this, while the membership of the church did not exceed 
three hundred and fifty, while a house of worship was being 
erected involving a debt of $10,000 or $15,000, and the crash 
of 1857 coming in besides ; and yet nothing ever said or 
hinted as to the Church undertaking too much in the service 
of the Master ! Not only so, but the Church passed vote 
after vote, now commending and urging on the work in this 
mission, then in that, and so keeping things at a white heat all 
the time. Indeed, the Church was so zealous in this work, 
that it appointed a committee of three ladies and three gen- 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 35 

tlemen, with J. W. Stanley as Chairman, whose duty it was 
to visit all the resident members of the Church, ascertain 
who were disabled from doing Christian work, who were 
engaged therein, who were willing to engage and who refused. 
That committee reported, September 1, 1858, that they had 
found that, of the three hundred and forty-one names on the 
roll, one hundred and six were absent or undiscoverable, sixty- 
eight were providentially disabled from attempting work, one 
hundred and three were engaged in teaching, sixty had prom- 
ised to take classes, two were attending as scholars, and two 
declined to pledge themselves. Let us have another com- 
mittee ! 

There is no mystery about this zeal and its fruits. When 
Christian business men have their hearts set, as they did then, 
upon making the Gospel known and leading souls to Christ ; 
when they are as willing to take their carriages Sabbath after 
Sabbath and gather up and convey teachers to mission schools ; 
when they will go through darkness, and mud, and snow, and 
storm to ^attend mission prayer meetings a mile or two away ; 
when they are so full of Gospel enthusiasm as to put up 
chapels in a week, organize schools in car shops and on the 
grass, and are chided by their Pastor for neglecting the home 
church in their devotion to the work in the mission fields : 
when this is the spirit of a people, there will be no complain- 
ing about burdens, or hard times, and too much aggressiveness. 
Only let the heart be thoroughly kindled and enlisted, as in 
these earlier days, and there will be money enough and to 
spare for debts, missions, everything. Would to God we might 
have a revival of that old enthusiasm. 

This sketch would be incomplete without a word of testi- 
mony respecting the war record of the Church. It was what 
might be expected after such a history as that I have been 
tracing. The Church threw itself into that tremendous strug- 
gle with all its resources of money, men, faith, prayer. It 
had for years held a Fourth of July prayer meeting for the 
deliverance of the slave. And now, through all the thick mist 



36 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

of tears, and blood, and nameless woe, it saw the answer com- 
ing and was ready for its share of the terrific costs. It 
observed all the set days of fasting and prayer, from that first 
one appointed by President Buchanan, January 4, 1861, to 
the last of the series, and added some of its own appointing. 
It held prayer meetings a whole month prior to the inaugura- 
tion of President Lincoln. It resolved and re-resolved on the 
subject of slavery and rebellion, and sent copies of its resolu- 
tions to the President and his Cabinet. It urged enlistments, 
and sixty-nine names on its roll of honor show with what suc- 
cess. It gave the Pastor to be Vice President of the Western 
Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, and allowed 
him to devote as much time to the work at home, or in the 
army, as he chose to take. And it never wavered in its faith 
that the end would be the triumph of liberty. 

But there is one contribution to this war record not gener- 
ally known, and which I wish for the honor of my predeces- 
sor and the truth of history, to particularize. Dr. Patton, in 
common with many others, felt deeply on the subject of 
slavery, and was greatly desirous that President Lincoln 
should issue a proclamation emancipating the slaves. A con- 
ference with Rev. J. E. Roy resulted in a call for a public 
meeting to consider the matter. The meeting was held in 
Bryan Hall, and was both crowded and enthusiastic in the 
highest degree. The proposition of Dr. Patton caught the 
popular mind, and a committee, of which Dr. Patton was 
Chairman, was appointed to prepare an address to be sub- 
mitted to another meeting for approval. That meeting was 
still more intense in its enthusiasm than the former. It ap- 
proved the address and authorized Dr. Patton, with others, to 
proceed at once to Washington and lay the matter before the 
President. That interview was held, the address earnestly 
listened to by Mr. Lincoln, and then fully aud candidly dis- 
cussed. Mr. Lincoln stated to the committee that he had been, 
and was then, anxiously endeavoring to ascertain what his duty 
was ; that if he could find what the will of Providence was he 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 37 

should obey it. The committee returned, a meeting was called, 
the report of the interview made, and when the papers contain- 
ing the account of that meeting came out, on one page was the 
report of the committee and on the other the Emancipation 
Proclamation ! And Mr. Medill, of the Tribune, is my author- 
ity for the statement that Secretary Stanton said to him, that 
after that interview with the Chicago Committee, Mr. Lincoln 
no longer had any doubts as to the wisdom of issuing the 
proclamation, but was fully determined upon it. 

I only add as closing this period, that during Dr. Patton's 
pastorate there were received into membership seven hundred 
and seventy-six persons : three hundred by profession, and 
four hundred and seventy-six by letter. The number of 
enrolled members at the close of his labors was five hundred 
and forty-two. As Dr. Patton is still one of the youngest of 
us, and good for at least a quarter of a century of his best 
work, I shall not here pronounce his eulogy ! 

Tho fourth and final epoch of this history extends from 
the close of Dr. Patton's labors until the present time ; that is, 
from Jan. 1, 1868, to May 22, 1876. The present pastor was 
called to this pulpit in November, 1867, and, if he may be 
permitted to testify upon the point, came as his predecessor 
had come, under sheer pressure of conscience. He was in- 
stalled January 10, 1868, and has contrived to find enough to 
keep him busy ever since. This era has not been one of 
marvels. Perhaps, compared with the periods preceding it, it 
might be appropriately termed the plodding era of the Church. 
But if there be undiminished harvests, there must be yoke- 
wearing and tramping patiently back and forth in the furrow. 
And it is not always a simple thing to keep a farm stocked 
with the best appliances yielding a steady increase of crops, 
nor a manufactory with the finest machinery paying augment- 
ing dividends, nor to fight the most brilliantly conceived cam- 
paigns through to victory. 

The story of these eight and a half years is too familiar to 
require consideration in detail. One sweep of memory takes it 



38 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

all in. Our house of worship early proving too strait for us, and 
a larger one built on the ground where this edifice now stands ; 
ridicule at first heaped upon us for our innovations upon the 
traditions of church architecture, and then compliments given 
us for our success; failure of the pastor's health and generous 
leave of absence for six months' travel in the Orient ; the new 
church building dedicated on the first Sabbath of June, 1871 ; 
our worship and our work enjoyed until the great conflagra- 
tion paled our faces and burdened our hearts ; our church 
doors thrown open that memorable Monday afternoon, and a few 
of us gathered around a little table in our lecture room, with 
Mayor Mason, Police Commissioner Brown, President Holden, 
of the Common Council, and S. S. Hayes, debating tearfully 
what should be done ; that first proclamation of the Mayor, issued 
from our lecture room as headquarters of the city government, 
closing with words that sound strangely to-day, but were fear-* 
fully significant then — " It is believed the fire has spent its 
force, and all will soon be well;" and that second proclama- 
tion, fixing the price of bread at eight cents per loaf, with a 
penalty of $10 for every violation ; five hundred citizens 
sworn in, in the same room, as special police to patrol our 
streets and preserve order ; the tears coursing down our faces 
as the telegrams came in testifying sympathy, pledging aid, 
announcing cooked food on its way to the starving ; the wel- 
come we gave, and the food and sleeping places we provided 
for hundreds of the homeless until they could be sheltered 
elsewhere ; the Common Council spending one Sunday fore- 
noon in our Church parlor, swearing at the Mayor and Relief 
Committee because the moneys sent were not put into their 
hands ; and Ave, meantime, worshiping up stairs, asking God's 
help and giving thanks for this very fact ; our labors gladly 
and persistently rendered in pushing on the blessed work of 
relief; all this finally passing away, and a year and a quarter 
later our Church home burned ; the affectionate welcome we 
received into the house of our brethren of the Second Baptist 
Church ; the unusual spiritual prosperity of that year of trial 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 39 

as compared with the year before ; our house of worship 
rebuilt without a penny asked of any one, and made a 
grander success than its predecessor ; our blessed fellowship 
of Christian love and service with the pleasure of the Lord 
prospering in our hands, and great hopes filling our hearts of 
better things in the days to come — all this is familiar as a 
thrice told tale. And I doubt not that to-day you are as 
grateful for your share, as I for mine, in this marvelous and 
blessed history. 

There are some waymarks of advance characterizing this 
era, of which a passing mention may be made. There have 
been contributed in the regular collections of the Sabbath and 
the prayer meetings, during these eight years, not far from 
$85,000. Individual donations to the Theological Seminary, 
the Advance, the various missionary societies, are known to 
an amount not less than $60,000, making a total of benevolent 
moneys of $145,000. If there be added the cost of our Church 
building, $210,000 ; and for Church expenses, during this 
period, $100,000, the sum total of moneys raised for Gospel 
purposes is $455,000.* 

The first auxiliary in the State to the Woman's Board of 
Missions of the Interior, and, with one exception, the first 
auxiliary in the West, was organized in this Church in 1869. 

The Bright Side Mission, organized on Milwaukee avenue 
in 1872, was carried up to a membership of four hundred, 
and gave promise of a most fruitful future. After two years 
of prosperity, the burden of church debt and the consequent 
impossibility of providing a needed chapel, compelled its relin- 
quishment. 

The Sunday School of Bethany Church, originally opened 
by the Church, has been virtually re-assumed. Deacon W. N. 
Mills, the first Superintendent, has, with undiminished vigor, 
taken his old post, and with a corps of devoted teachers fur- 
nished by the Church, and such material aid as has been need- 

* As this pamphlet goes to press, it is pleasant to know that by an effort made since this 
anniversary, the entire Church debt, funded and floating, amounting to 851,000, has been pro- 
vided for by pledges to be paid within one year. 



40 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

ed, has seen the work greatly flourish, and many of the youth 
led to the acceptance and confession of Christ. 

The Tabernacle Church, although nominally independent, 
has never reached the point of self-support, and has hence 
never been without the regular and generous aid of the mother 
Church. And in addition to financial help, during the past two 
or three years the Church has supplied a considerable part of 
the self-denying board of teachers engaged in that field. 

The home School has made large advances in numbers and 
interest, and was never more prosperous than now. Its roll 
shows a membership exceeding a thousand, with an average 
attendance during the months of the last winter of nearly 
seven hundred. 

The Scriptures have been introduced into the services of 
the sanctuary in responsive readings, with gratifying results. 
The study of the Word in Bible classes has also been much 
stimulated and enjoyed. 

As respects spiritual fruitfulness, the unusually constant 
growth of the Church throughout its history has been not only 
maintained but considerably augmented. Repeated seasons 
of revival interest have been enjoyed. And the spirit of 
desire for immediate results, as also of faith and prayer and 
labor to secure them, was never more manifest and potential. 

There have been added to the Church, during the present 
pastorate, by profession, three hundred and sixty-seven ; by 
letter, six hundred and two ; making a total of additions of 
nine hundred and sixty-nine. The membership, at the begin- 
ning of this epoch, January, 1868, was five hundred and 
forty-two. It is now ten hundred and eleven. 

In closing the record of this portion of our history, a brief 
word ought to be spoken respecting the peculiarly close rela- 
tians sustained by this Church to the Evangelistic work of our 
honored brethren, D. L. Moody, Maj. D. W. Whittle and P. 
P. Bliss. It is a matter of pardonable pride that when 
Brother Moody was canvassing the question of duty as to his 
future work, when some ridiculed his illiterateness, were 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 41 

offended at his plain, blunt way of putting Gospel truth > 
when some pulpits were shut against him, and some Christian 
people even were disposed to think him a clown, not to say a 
fool, this Church had, as a whole, only sympathy ; this pul- 
pit only a welcome and a godspeed. And I know that this 
hearty fellowship and regard were most grateful and inspiring 
to him. The first Bible-readings he gave in this city, or gave 
anywhere, as covering the new method of Evangelistic labor 
which was shaping itself before his mind, he gave in the lec- 
ture room of this Church. And the success of that series of 
twelve readings greatly encouraged this dear brother to con- 
tinue in his chosen work. 

Church and Pastor were one in this. You never found 
fault with me for welcoming him so heartily to this pul- 
pit. You never sneered at his broken, unpolished utter- 
ances, his faulty grammar. You agreed with me that, taught 
in the schools, or taught only in the closet, ordained by the 
laying on of men's hands, or ordained only by the baptism of 
the Holy Ghost, whosoever he might be that evinced the seal 
of God's approval on his endeavors to lead men to Christ, he 
should have our heartiest fellowship, our sincerest prayers. 
Brother Whittle is our rightful ambassador, for he was con- 
verted through the ministry of this pulpit. Brother Bliss, 
whom Mr. Moody feels to be as truly raised up of God for his 
service of gospel-song, as was Charles Wesley, is still one of 
our household and thanks God for this fellowship. They all 
pray earnestly for us, as we do for them ; and may God grant 
to endue both them and us with a double portion of His, Spirit, 
and in the future exalt through all our labors, as never before, 
the Gospel of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus 
Christ. 

I must not tax you more. Setting aside, therefore, the 
marvelous record of the growth of our city during this event- 
ful era, a growth that, whether considered as to population, 
traffic, railways, municipal improvements, schools, churches, is 
without a parallel in the history of cities in this or any land, 



42 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

I note two points that seem peculiarly emphasized by this re- 
view. First. The efficiency of the Congregational system of 
Church government. It is said that Congregationalism cannot 
deal with heterogeneous classes ; cannot so unify and compact 
them as to make them homogeneous and strong. I point to 
this history and affirm that this Church has been doing it for 
twenty-five years, and has never found the slightest difficulty 
in the undertaking. It has been doing it just as our demo- 
cratic government does it, by taking those of every kindred, 
and nation, and tongue, and assimilating, developing, consoli- 
dating them by the imposition of responsibilities common to 
all, and the enjoyment of privileges and prerogatives open to 
all. The mightiest, most indissoluble compacts are those of 
affinity, not of iron clamps. Such is our strength. We are 
democratic through and through, wont to think and reason in- 
dependently, and to speak and vote what we think, knowing 
no Master save Christ ; yet by means of these very rights Qf 
private judgment, uncompelled choice, free discussion, de- 
veloped and wedded into a spiritual citizenship of unsurpassed 
intelligence, catholicity, unity, power. 

It is said that Congregationalism is loose in discipline. I 
point to this record of a quarter of a century and challenge 
proof of anything with even the seeming of irregularity, or 
avoidance of investigation, or unfairness, or injustice in the 
methods used, or the conclusions reached. Of course, such 
things are possible within our polity : they are possible any- 
where. And it is not hard to name churches of the so-called 
orderly sort, with iron-clad systems, where the very irregulari- 
ties charged upon our polity have occurred. Good men in any 
brotherhood, outside of the Congregational fold as well as with- 
in it, may err, or become prejudiced, or wink at scandal for pru- 
dential reasons. But it must always be a more unlikely thing 
for a body of thinking people, the majority of a true Christian 
church to be blinded, become partisan, wilfully shut their 
eyes to iniquities that ought to be exposed and punished, than 
for a few individuals, or for a single person so to do. Christ's 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. id 

rule respecting a question of wrong-doing is as sound on its 
human as its divine side — " Tell it to the Church.''' 

It is said that Congregationalism is lax in doctrine. But 
here are twenty-five years of growth in a most heterogeneous 
and changeful population ; the air full of outcries against dead, 
worn-out creeds, and of the new gospels proposed in their 
stead ; two thousand church members received, embracing 
representatives of all the Evangelical churches of Christendom ; 
and notwithstanding ail this the Church never modifying its 
statements of doctrine by so much as a word. What polity 
can show a better record of steadfastness in the faith once for 
all delivered to the saints ? 

Proved thus in all these respects a polity Scriptural and 
efficient, in closest sympathy with every interest of humanity, 
abreast of the most advanced thought in every department of 
inquiry, holding the Gospel of the Son of Grod to be freely 
offered to all men and potent to rescue them from the bondage 
of sin, eager above all to make every one who accepts its fel- 
lowship attain the largest measure of Scriptural development 
and power, that he may become an apostle of glad tidings and 
win many souls — as such I commend to you the polity of the 
fathers whose work this record so peculiarly attests and honors. 

Second. There is illustrated here the amazing potency 
of a rightly founded, rightly developed Christian Church. 
Christ knew when He established it, that among the ages the 
one only unchanging, ever enlarging, ever triumphant in- 
stitution would be His Church. Dynasties rise and fall, 
nations come and go, political economies, philosophies, enter- 
prises of a thousand kinds shift, and go to wreck, and fade 
away; but the Kingdom and the Church it enfolds abide, and 
through all the overturnings only take on fresh growth and 
glory. And every local church of the true spiritual kind has 
in its life something of the imperishableness and on-reaching 
majesty and power of the Kingdom. So it be a true church of 
Christ it can never die, but under whatsoever name or form 
must needs live on forever. There are hundreds of churches in 



44 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL. 

our land which, even in their visible organization, illustrate this. 
The neighborhoods where they were planted have changed, 
families have been broken up and scattered, generations have 
come and gone, communities have been transformed, and 
through all the mutations the same old church organization 
has held its way, its life visibly stronger, its fruit richer, its 
potency wider than ever. 

But the power of a church lies chiefly in the realm of in- 
visible forces. All industries quickened, all wants measurably 
relieved, all interests of every kind championed; institutions of 
learning originated or fostered with unfailing prayers and 
gifts ; children won by hundreds and thousands to the paths of 
purity and life : souls innumerable saved from the wreck of sin 
and becoming the heralds and ministers of this same redemp- 
tion to others ; communities, states, and even nations, per- 
ceptibly leavened with a pure morality, anchored on found- 
ations of truth, justice, righteousness ; all this, and other 
possibilities of power which only the mind of the Infinite can 
grasp, lodged in one such organization as this, and through 
all the ages of human history perpetually reproduced and 
magnified to the good of man and glory of God ! Surely 
the Scripture figures as to the growth of the Kingdom are in a 
manner applicable to every individual church. The mustard 
seed is sure to become the great tree, and the handful of corn 
to shake like the forests of Lebanon. 

Brethren, let us take a double lesson from this review. On 
the one side let there be devout thanksgivings for these blessed 
experiences of the past ; on the other, devout consecrations to 
the one great end for which every true church exists — the 
establishment of the Kingdom of Christ through the salvation 
of men. And may He, through whose loving kindness our 
experiences have been so memorable, so abide with and em- 
power us in the days to come, that our past shall be to our fu- 
ture as the brightness of the morning to the full, meridian 
glory of the day. 



ADDRESS 



REV. WM. W. PATTON, D.D., 

AT THE EVENING SERVICE OF THE 

QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

OF CHICAGO. 



In order to compress what I have to say on this fruitful 
theme within the compass of the time allotted me, and to make 
my statements clear and exact, I have reduced my remarks to 
writing. Recalling your attention, for a few moments, to the 
facts connected with the origin of this Church, as described in 
the able discourse of Dr. Goodwin this morning, I shall dwell 
briefly on the real meaning of the occurrence, and shall then 
pass to matters of personal testimony in connection with the 
history of the church. 

To the casual spectator, who might have been present amid 
the scenes which preceded and attended, the organization of 
this church, twenty-five years ago, the event which we are 
celebrating might easily have appeared to have been largely 
casual — the product of a local excitement, the issue of a church 
quarrel. The mistake, however natural, would have been 
egregious. There was, in reality, nothing sporadic in the case, 
but the effect was due to causes far back and long at work, and 
which were revealing themselves at the same time in many 
other places. There was, as we oftentimes express it, "some- 



46 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

thing in the air " which predisposed to such a result. "It 
was bound to be." And so, when it came, it was not an acci- 
dent, nor yet was it a mere creature of passion and will ; it 
was a growth and a birth. In form it sprang from a double 
disorder, each party acting irregularly ; but the impelling 
power was in great vital principles. The majority of the Third 
Presbyterian Church of this city, dissatisfied with the action 
of the New School General Assembly on slavery, voted, over 
the head of its Session of Elders, to discontinue sending dele- 
gates to any of the ecclesiastical courts, till that action should 
be made thoroughly anti-slavery. Kow, there can be no 
doubt that such a vote was technically irregular ; that it was 
indefensible upon any Presbyterian principle. It was a kind 
of ecclesiastical rebellion ; it was out of keeping with the whole 
system, which regards the local church as bound by the action 
of its own Session, the Presbytery, the Synod and the 
General Assembly, the latter being the supreme judicatory. 
What lawyers would say of a popular meeting reviewing the de- 
cision of the Supreme Court, and refusing longer to recognize 
the existence of that body, or of intermediate courts, precisely 
that Presbyterians said of the action of the Third Church in 
this case. It was in all respects illegal ; for the church did 
not withdraw from the denomination, and yet refused to per- 
form the duties of a church in the denomination. What was 
the explanation ? 

The difficulty arose from a large leaven of Congregational- 
ism, which had been introduced into the Presbyterian Churches 
of this region. Through an undue subordination of church 
polity to a regard for Calvinistic doctrines, during the previous 
half century, and a Christian desire to unite forces in the weak 
churches of the new settlements, the Congregationalists had 
made the mistake of almost committing denominational suicide, 
by foregoing their own preferences, when out of New England, 
and uniting with Presbyterian Churches. And so it came 
about that, twenty years after the founding of Chicago, there 
was in it no Conwres-ational Church, while there were three 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 47 

Presbyterian Churches organized largely, perhaps principally, 
rom Congregational material. Here we get light on the 
action of the Third Church. The majority were really in 
sympathy with Congregationalism, and, without reasoning on 
the matter, proceeded to act with, reference to the General 
Assembly, much as a dissatisfied Congregational Church might 
have acted toward one of our associations or conferences, with 
which it is in fellowship, but to which it is not subject. Under 
the progress of the anti-slavery reform, there had come to be 
extensive dissatisfaction in the New School Presbyterian body 
(which embraced large numbers of ministers and churches of 
Congregational origin) with its relation to slavery ; and the 
General Assembly was found to be the principal obstacle to 
the needed purification. When this fact was added to the 
evil influence of the great schism with the Old School, which 
occurred in 1838, the eyes of many were opened to the unde- 
sirableness of centralized church politics based on power, and 
their hearts naturally returned to their first love — the Congre- 
gationalism of New England, of the Pilgrim Fathers, and of 
the New Testament churches. 

Hence, when the irregularity of the majority of the mem- 
bers of the Third Presbyterian Church was met, on the part of 
the Church Session, under order of the Presbytery, by a far 
greater irregularity, even by an act of despotic power, which, 
without charges or trial, ejected those who voted for the action 
from their church relations as individuals, they naturally and 
inevitably organized as the First Congregational Church of 
Chicago. The event was sure to occur, and the manner of its 
coming was purely incidental. The time had arrived when 
Congregationalism was to unroll her ancient banner, and to 
call her sons once more about it, in the name of primitive 
truth and order, choosing as the watchwords of her discipline 
the old gospel sentences: " Tell it unto the Church !" " All ye 
are brethren ! " Similar changes were rapidly taking place 
throughout the West, and the two rival systems were thence- 
forward to run in separate paths. 



48 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

It was my happy experience to act as the Pastor of this 
Church from January, 1857, to January, 1868, or for a period 
of eleven years, serving in this capacity for six months after 
my technical resignation, in July, 1867, or until my successor, 
Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D., was installed. Since that time, 
the membership of myself and family has continued with it — 
the children uniting, one after another, till we number seven 
on the church roll — and it has been our loved, spiritual home. 
Thus I am on the twentieth year of an intimate personal ac- 
quaintance with its affairs, and appear, on this auspicious anni- 
versary, as a witness somewhat competent to testify to its 
characteristic spirit ; and my testimony shall relate to these 
four points : 

1. The unwavering devotion of the Church to its views of 
truth and right. We have seen that it was cradled in the 
spirit of liberty, and from the first stood committed to direct 
antagonism to slavery. This position was unpopular in the 
community ; its views were regarded as fanatical by the other 
churches. The rabble called it the " nigger church," and 
mischievous boys, catching the spirit of their elders, scribbled 
that name on its doors. But the old "Pilgrim " characteris- 
tics only came out the more clearly in this opposition, and 
each member said, with the undaunted Paul, " None of these 
things move me." 

The first regularly installed Pastor, Rev. George W. Per- 
kins, was my ministerial neighbor and anti-slavery co-laborer 
in Connecticut, and my personal friend. He was a man of 
ability, of piety, of moral courage, of sound sense and of social 
address, and he nobly started the church on its permanent 
path of labor and success. His death was a great loss to many 
important interests ; but the church moved on to supply his 
place in the same fidelity to truth. The brethren did not in- 
quire for the greatest theologian, or the most eloquent orator, 
or the most stunning sensationalist, but simply said : " Who 
will maintain the same principles ? Who will hold aloft the 
the Christian standard of reform ? " And, having confidence 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 49 

that he who now addresses you would do this, they invited 
him to become their Pastor. Right onward were their faces, 
bent on a victory over the gigantic sin of the land, which was 
holding in thraldom Church and State alike. And they were 
unflinching in their testimony, within the denomination as well 
as outside of it. They criticised the too conservative and tardy 
action of the American Board of Foreign Missions and of the 
American Home Missionary Society, as to separating from the 
evil in question, and bestowed their contributions elsewhere, 
till all connection of these societies with slavery ceased. They 
enlisted earnestly in the effort to induce the American Tract 
Society to treat slavery as it did intemperance and other ac- 
knowledged sins. They always remembered the slave among 
the subjects of prayer. Every Independence Day was intro- 
duced with a morning prayer meeting for the liberation of the 
slave, up to the time when the Proclamation of Emancipation 
went forth ; and, to aid in securing that proclamation, they 
sent their Pastor, at the head of a delegation, to confer with 
President Lincoln. The day John Brown was hung, the city bells 
of Chicago were tolled by order of John Wentworth, Mayor, and 
this church held a special meeting for prayer and conference 
in the evening. A sermon was preached on the subject, the 
next Lord's Day morning — not in approval of John Brown's 
methods, but in admiration of his Puritanic character, and in 
humiliation for the existence of the bondage which tempted him 
to his rash crusade. And when, finally, the war came between 
slavery and freedom, the church sent from the congregation 
and schools sixty-nine representatives into the army, and al- 
lowed its Pastor to devote large time and labor to the work of 
the Northwestern Sanitary Commission, here and in the field. 
And, with a similar spirit of devotion to reform, has the 
church maintained the cause of Temperance, of political purity 
and of every other enterprise struggling for the right. To its 
Pastors it has always given a free pulpit, in which they might 
proclaim whatever they believed to be the truth of God ; and 
I desire personally to testify to this fact, remembering how 



50 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

often I was patiently and candidly heard, when advocating 
views which were contrary to the opinions of a part, and some- 
times of a majority of the auditors. And, during the years thus 
markedly characterized, this course was steadily maintained, 
notwithstanding the positive knowledge that, because of it. 
persons of intelligence and pecuniary resources, whose aid in 
sustaining the heavy burdens would have been most welcome, 
and whose previous affinities should have led them to our eccle- 
siastical fellowship, were induced to connect themselves with 
churches of other denominations. It often seemed to me, in 
those times of moral conflict and of comparative disrepute, that 
something of the heroism of the early Christian Church was 
manifest, as the members identified themselves so willingly 
with God's despised poor, for the Master's sake, " rejoicing 
that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." 
It was not self-will, but unflinching testimony to the truth. 

2. The second point of my testimony shall relate to the 
eminently democratic spirit of this church. A Congregational 
Church is in its nature a democracy. The people rule, and 
that by direct vote. The way for action may be prepared by 
committees, but the decision of affairs is by the actual voice of 
the membership, who accept, dismiss and discipline each per- 
son, as the case may require. In this, it is on the basis of the 
New Testament. For the command of Christ, in regard to a 
case of discipline, was, "Tell it unto the church" — unto the 
ecclesia or assembly of the disciples. Paul, also, when he gave 
direction to the Corinthian Church, in the First Epistle, to 
excommunicate the member who notoriously had been guilty of 
incest, bade them, " when ye are gathered together " (that is, 
in full church-meeting) '-'and my spirit, with the power of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto Satan ; " and 
ended by saying to the whole body : " Put away from among 
yourselves that wicked person." This they did, in the divided 
condition of the church, apparently by a majority vote ; for, 
in the Second Epistle, where he pleads for the restoration of 
the now penitent offender, he says to the brotherhood : " Suf- 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 51 

ficient to such a man is this punishment which was inflicted of 
many," or, literally rendered, "by the majority." 

Thus, the central idea of a Congregational Church is that 
of equality of rights and self-government. " One is your 
Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren," is its Scriptural 
motto. But practice often departs from theory, and leading 
influences may greatly modify a democracy. For a church, as 
well as any other community, needs an intelligent and positive 
leadership, and ordinarily secures it in the persons of the Pas- 
tor and Deacons. Oftentimes, however, leadership assumes too 
much the spirit of control, and a few members of wealth and 
social influence will virtually dictate the entire action of a 
church. Occasionally, it even happens that a single man's 
will is so strong, his opinions are so pronounced, and the de- 
pendence of the church upon him is so marked, that the entire 
body comes into bondage, though the forms of liberty are still 
maintained. Now it is to the entire absence of any such fact 
in the history of this church that I would testify. No clique, 
or circle, or set of brethren has ever been accused of ruling 
the church and of giving law to the Pastor. There was one 
brother who, more than any other, was the founder of the 
church, and without whose earnestness of purpose and gener- 
ous pecuniary aid, it would never have survived the perils of 
infancy. As, to our great regret, he is not present, being ab- 
sent in pursuit of health, I will name him — Philo Carpenter, 
Esq. Had he so chosen, he might easily have assumed some 
such attitude as that which has been described, and his word 
would have been clothed with more or less power. But never 
was a member more modest ; never did the richest man in the 
church, whose means more than equaled those of all the others 
combined, rely less upon pecuniary influence, or avoid more 
carefully the faintest appearance of dictation. A casual visitor 
at a business meeting, no matter how important the topic un- 
der debate, would never have selected that brother, by reason 
of his remarks, as the founder and leading supporter of the 
church. He spoke with clearness and decision, but also with 



52 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

moderation, and when voted down, as often he was, took the 
fact with entire equanimity. And this humility seemed to be 
shared, to a wonderful degree, by the other natural leaders. 
No one wanted to insist upon his own opinion, though ready 
enough to express it. Each was fearful of any approach to 
dictation, in words, in manner, or in deeds. And thus the 
habit has been to have everything done openly, after general 
discussion, and by vote of the church, rich and poor having 
equal privileges, and the most recent comer not being over- 
shadowed by the older members. 

3. I would testify to the unbroken spirit of union which 
has pervaded the church since its organization. Twenty-five 
years of peace and fraternal love is a record of which any 
church may be proud. Especially is this true in the case of a 
church which manages its own affairs, and which takes a living 
interest and an active part in the stirring events of these times 
of excitement. How numerous are the occasions upon which 
churches contrive to quarrel ! The settlement and dismission 
of ministers, the location and erection of church edifices, the 
discipline of offenders, the management of the music, the posi- 
tion of the minister or of the church on questions of reform 
— these are matters over which many a church has been rent 
asunder, or has suffered from prolonged internal divisions. 
All these questions, and yet others of an agitating character, 
with reference to which there were divided opinions, have been 
up for discussion before this church. But nothing has led to 
discord. Its three settled Pastors were called by unanimous 
votes. The first died in his work, greatly lamented by all who 
knew him. The second, after eleven years of labor, voluntarily 
resigned his pastorate, to aid in what he and others believed to 
be the most important thing remaining to be done for the 
churches of the Interior — the establishment of a first-class reli- 
gious newspaper at this metropolitan center. The third is now on 
his ninth year of most successful ministry. In this day of uni- 
versal change and of brief pastorates, in this city of ceaseless 
agitation and fresh novelties, is it not worthy of notice, that a 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 53 

church has thus harmoniously enjoyed the ministry of its choice? 
Five times has it built its edifice for worship, on three different 
sites, and with a divided opinion as to the wisest location. 
There was abundant discussion, but no schism. And, similarly, 
a disputed case of discipline has occurred, ever and anon, 
engaging the feelings -warmly for the time being, but leaving 
no deep traces behind. The secret of such union has largely 
been that democratic spirit to which reference was just now 
made. Everything has been done openly, and by the whole 
church, and after the freest and fullest discussion. The under- 
standing was that every member should be encouraged to 
express his mind, no matter from whom he differed. This 
privilege has been used with the greatest freedom, and the 
debates have consequently waxed at times so warm as to lead 
new members, who did not understand the genius of the 
church, to fear that a division would ensue. But the debate 
ended, and the vote taken, the minority always gracefully 
yielded to the majority, knowing that everything had been 
done fairly, and only sorrowing that the majority were not 
more wise ! In such a minority we have all, by turns, found our- 
selves. Thus freedom and fairness have secured unity and 
peace. Having no particular set of men or of families to 
gratify, having no caucus to direct the church, having all con- 
fidence that a body of Christian believers, with full oppor- 
tunity to compare views, can reach safe conclusions, the First 
Congregational Church of Chicago rejoices this day in a quarter 
of a century of brotherly love. And if discord shall ever 
come in, it will be in the train of a departure from this path 
of wisdom. It will be the result of a lack of confidence in 
the brotherhood, or of a failure continually to consult them in 
plans of action ; in a gradual substitution of the Prudential 
Committee for the church, and the habit of announcing that 
the Committee has decided to do this or that, instead of 
gaining a fresh impulse from the decision of the church itself. 
4. My testimony shall bear on but one point more — the 
quiet persistence of this church in its legitimate spiritual work. 



54 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

It has lived to advocate all moral and religious truth, and to 
engage in every form of Christian labor. Anti-slavery in 
principle, it never was a mere anti-slavery society. Favoring 
reform, it did not make reform its religion. Accused, indeed, 
falsely, at times, of having but one idea, and of running along 
a narrow line of fanaticism, it fell behind no church in the 
city — it led the most of the churches — in every form of prac- 
tical Christian usefulness, and in securing the results which 
are comprehended in the most genuine success. It gave a 
generous support to home and foreign missions, to tract distri- 
bution, to the Bible Society, and to all charitable enterprises. 
The contribution-box and the subscription-paper went on never- 
ceasing rounds. The useful and popular Home of the Friend- 
less owed its origin to one of our female members, who made 
the first collection of money and subscriptions in its behalf. 
The Theological Seminary of the denomination not only has 
found here its most liberal individual donor, but has received a 
larger aggregate from its contributions than from those of any 
other church. One member has served over nineteen years on 
its Executive Committee, another for twelve years or more, and 
others for briefer periods. It set the example to churches of 
all denominations in the city, in the matter of systematic 
mission-work by individual churches, instead of by union 
effort. All the churches were then holding their second 
preaching service in the afternoon. Its pastor proposed to 
this church to change that service to the evening, and to leave 
the afternoon free for mission-work, to be carried on at a dis- 
tance from the edifice, in destitute localities, by its own mem- 
bers. This was done, and soon the church had four mission- 
schools, in addition to its home-school, and its example of 
labor and success led to a general imitation of its methods 
throughout the city. Nothing sensational has ever marked its 
course. It did not flourish most, as some churches do, in the 
newspapers. Quietly and unostentatiously it gave itself to the 
regular work of a church, seeking to edify saints and convert 
sinners. It set up no special standard or attraction of respect- 



MRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 55 

ability, for fear respectability might be its leanness, if not its 
spiritual death. It sought to gather no crowd by artistic sing- 
ing, or by sermons that astonished the hearers by their rhetoric 
or their heresy. But the aim was ever constant growth by 
instructive teaching and faithful work. The families and the 
Sunday schools were expected to furnish a continual harvest ; 
while the winter seasons were employed with considerable 
uniformity as opportunities for special revival efforts. Con- 
sequently the history of the church has been marked with 
many revivals of power, and there has been hardly a com- 
munion season, during these twenty-five years, which has not 
witnessed not only an addition to the membership, but usually 
an addition by conversion from the world. Had the church 
failed here, I should have counted its successes in other respects 
of small value. 

And so I look back, and thank God for the organization ol 
this church ; for its fidelity to principle, for its generosity in 
giving, for its efficiency in labor, for its stimulating influence 
upon other churches. I praise Him for the part which it was 
permitted me to have in its early struggles and victories, for 
the good foundation-work done by the now sainted man of God 
who preceded me, and for the unusually successful ministry of 
my successor, the present pastor, by whose side it has been 
my happiness to live in a constantly growing Christian friend- 
ship, witnessing his indefatigable efforts to advance God's 
kingdom, and joying in the blessed results. And may this 
spiritual glory of the past be but as the morning's dawning 
light, while the midday splendor of holiness and usefulness 
shall be still in the future ! 



ADDRESS 

OF 

REV. J. E. ROY. D. D., 

AT THE EVENING SERVICE OF THE 

QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

OF CHICAGO. 



As the only speaker of the day who is not a member of 
this church, it becomes my privilege to congratulate you upon 
the dignity of this history, upon the felicity of this occasion. 
Evidently the origin, the mission of this church was a plan of 
God. It has been your happiness to fall into that plan. 

My own acquaintance with the church from the beginning, 
and my affinity with its spirit and life, have endeared it to me 
as much as though I had been a member. In the Seminary 
at New York I learned of its organization. Upon Henry 
Ward Beecher's nomination of Rev. J. M. Davis as just the 
man for the place, I reported the name and he was elected to 
the Pastorate, which he declined, as Dr. Goodwin has reported. 
He afterward became the first Pastor of the Plymouth Church. 
At the Albany Convention, in 1852. Deacon Carpenter wished 
me to leave my senior year and come on to this work. I could 
not shorten my course. Coming back, after graduation, in 
June, 1853, I found Rev. J. M. Williams in the Pastorate, 
and preached once in the original house of worship. That 
night the house was burned down. The theory of incen- 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 57 

diarism which made my green seminary sermon the cause was 
never confirmed. Though I confess that, as I looked at the 
old manuscript this morning, it bore a very smoky appearance, 
which still gives a color to that theory. 

Coming, in the fall of 1855, after two years of home mis- 
sionary service, to the Pastorate of the Plymouth Church, I 
found Rev. George M. Perkins the Pastor here, and at my in- 
stallation he gave me the right hand of fellowship. The 
church was busy in finishing off the stone edifice on Green 
street. On the dedication day, I was with Brother Perkins. 
He preached the first and I the second sermon. It was an 
high day with this people. During that winter we had the 
Evangelist, Rev. John T. Avery, first in the Plymouth Church, 
and then in the First. A glorious revival was enjoyed in 
each congregation. Its result, in the maturing of Christian 
character and in the conversion of souls, is manifest to this day. 
I count in your Manual the names of thirty -nine persons then 
brought in on confession of faith — among them our dear 
brethren, T. M. Avery, John C. Wiswell, J. M. Williams, F. 
S. Hanson and L. M. Holbrook. 

In the summer vacation, Brother Perkins and I took our 
respite together in a cruise through the Lake Superior regions. 
Upon his return he remarked to his wife that he considered 
himself good for fifteen years more of pastoral work. In two 
months he was smitten down, and, as we stood by his dying 
bed, the beloved physician, Dr. Hollister, who had loved him 
dearly, was bathed in tears. But a post mortem gave the 
satisfaction that no human skill could have saved him. The 
funeral service was held in the afternoon of the Lord's Day, 
in the church. The clergy of the city were present in a body 
as I have never seen them on any other such occasion. The 
members of the other churches felt bereaved along with the 
people of this congregation. President Blanchard preached 
the sermon. By the request of the Church, on the next Sab- 
bath, the Plymouth Pastor preached for them another com- 
memorative discourse. 



58 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

I wish here to say that, in my judgment, the encomium put 
upon its records by this Church, as referred to by the Pastor 
this morning, was just. Mr. Perkins was a pleasing preacher. 
He excelled in the preliminary exposition of the Word. 
Though a man of gray hairs, he was especially attractive to 
young people. He had a sort of spiritual loadstone, by 
which he readily found out and drew out the isolated families 
that get lodged in the drift of a city. An anti-slavery re- 
former, he had a spirit of charity for those who did not agree 
with him in opinion. I remember hearing him say how 
strange it seemed to him, coming from the abolition battles 
in Connecticut, to find a people here and hereabouts so com- 
pletely in accord with himself. Dr. Goodwin referred to his 
connection with the opening of the Chicago Theological Semi- 
nary. It should also be said that his excellent pastoral library, 
by his bequest, became the beginning of the library of the 
Seminary. No Pastor, ripe in the wisdom of experience, 
could be more generously helpful to a young Pastor, and with- 
out a particle of patronizing, than was he to me ; and so I 
loved him greatly. 

When, very soon, Dr. Patton was called to the vacant pul- 
pit, it was devolved upon me to give him the right hand of 
fellowship ; and when he arose to receive it, that was the first 
view of his face which the congregation had had, for, having 
inquired of the Lord, they had called him, and were to install 
him, before hearing him preach. 

That was the Heroic Period of this Church, as described 
this morning. I remember well those meetings on the Fourth 
of July, to pray that God would make that a day of rejoicing 
to the oppressed of our land — a strange incongruity, praying 
on the day of liberty for the slaves of our country. The idea of 
calling that meeting to memorialize President Lincoln, and the 
drafting of that memorial, were from the brain and the pen of 
the then Pastor of this Church, who, in company with the vene- 
rated Dr. Dempster, of the Evanston Biblical Institute, bore it to 
Washington. When Dr. Patton came home, he set his Church 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 59 

to praying, in a special daily prayer meeting, for the success 
of that memorial, expecting that the Proclamation would come. 
And while they were praying the answer came — the Proclama- 
tion appearing here in the same paper which contained the 
report of the delegation. At that time Mr. Medill reported 
to me that message of Secretary Stanton : "Tell those Chi- 
cago Doctors that their interview did the business ; that up to 
that time Mr. Lincoln had been wavering." 

When the assassination of President Lincoln came, Dr. Pat- 
ton was along with the army as an officer of the Sanitary Com- 
mission of the Northwest, and I had been engaged to supply 
his pulpit for the Sabbath. Bringing in a sermon, prepared 
for the occasion, upon the text : " The Lord alone shall be 
exalted in that day," I met at the door Rev. H. L. Hammond 
and requested him to go into the pulpit and assist me in the 
service. He declined, giving as a reason, that he could not 
trust his emotions. That was the state of mind in the whole 
congregation. I never witnessed such a power of feeling 
before or since. It was the swaying of the forest under a 
mighty wind. It was a grand swell of righteous indignation ; 
it was a wail of grief. 

At the installation of the present Pastor, it was made my 
duty to give him the charge of the churches ; and this it was, 
in substance : "You are an Ambassador; remember what you 
are, -whom you serve; and act in character." You, your- 
selves, know how his pastoral experience has lain along 
by the side of that of the Apostle : " Now, then, we are Am- 
bassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us ; 
we pray you in Christ's stead; be ye reconciled to God." 

It was my pleasure to attend the farewell meeting in the 
old Green Street Church, when you were expectiug the return 
of Brother Goodwin from abroad to join you in dedicating 
the holy and beautiful house which, on this site, was burned 
with fire. That was a thrilling meeting, and the most moving 
testimony of all was that of Brother T. M. Avery, who spoke 
for himself and for others who had found that house their 
spiritual birthplace. 



60 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

Your Committee requested me, besides any reminiscences 
I might furnish, to present the local and western growth of 
Congregationalism within this quarter of a century. 

This is the first Congregational Church of Chicago, and 
it is only twenty-five years old. You noticed how meager was 
the Council reported by Dr. Goodwin for the organizing of 
this Church — three or four country churches, and these off at 
a distance of from twenty-five to forty miles from Chicago. 
And now you have in the city alone a sisterhood of twelve of 
these churches of the Puritan way — our Plymouth, and New 
England, and Union Park, and Tabernacle, and Lincoln Park, 
and Oakland, and Bethany, and Leavitt Street, and Wicker 
Park, and Clinton Street and Forty-seventh Street. 

Besides these, in the suburbs that belong to Chicago there 
have come up our Congregational Churches at Raven swood, 
at Evanston, at Wilmette, at Winnetka, at Glencoe, at Jeffer- 
son, at Park Ridge, at Des Plaines, at Oak Park, at Maywood, 
at Lombard, at Prospect Park, at Wheaton, at Hinsdale, at 
Blue Island, at South Chicago — sixteen of them. 

Within two years after the organization of this Church, 
the Chicago Association was organized with four churches — 
the First, the Plymouth and the New England of this city, 
and the Free Church of Ottawa, drawn these eighty-six miles 
by anti-slavery sympathy. And now the Chicago Association 
embraces thirty-four churches, besides the Independent 
churches at Chicago Avenue (Brother Moody's), at Central 
Park and at Washington Heights, which are in affinity with 
us, making thirty -eight, in all. 

Then, on the field this side of Fox River, from which this 
Church gleaned to get its little organizing Council, there are 
also twelve other churches connected with other associations, 
which make, in all, fifty churches, where then there were but 
half a dozen. The development of our Congregational 
Herald and of our Advance, of the Chicago Theological Semi- 
nary and of Wheaton College within these bounds and within 
this time, is also a part of this twenty-five years of history. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 61 

Taking in the broader range of our State, we find that 
since your church was formed, there have been organized in 
Illinois one hundred and sixty-three churches. In the fifteen 
years since our Presbyterian brethren withdrew from the 
American Home Missionary Society, Illinois has set up eighty- 
jive of these churches, and has built one hundred and twenty- 
four houses of worship. 

Going out to the still wider field of the West, we find that 
since your church took on organic life, our churches have 
increased in number ixomfine hundred to sixteen hundred. So 
that eleven hundred of these sister churches in the Interior 
and the West have yet to attain, with you, the dignity of a 
Quarter Centennial Celebration. 

Then consider that within these same years, along with 
these churches, and developed by them, have come up a eoterie 
of Christian colleges, a vast evangelizing, elevating power. 
These are our Olivet, and Wheaton, and Ripon ; and Carleton, 
in Minnesota ; and Washburn, in Kansas ; and Doane, in 
Nebraska ; and Thayer and Drury, in Missouri ; and Color- 
ado ; and the Pacific, in Oregon ; and the Pacific Theological 
Seminary in California. 

Brethren, I was touched this morning by the fact that, 
in your scheme of benevolent contributions, the thank offering 
of this commemorative occasion was to be in behalf of home 
missions, and further by the generous pastoral endorsement of 
this cause, to which I know you all responded in your hearts. 
Now it is my pleasure to express to you the thanks of the Ameri- 
can Home Missionary Society for your remembrance of this 
cause. I find that, in the fifteen years of my superintendency, 
you have contributed to this treasury the sum of $5,136.70; 
which is an average, per year, of $342.45. This, I suppose, 
is not more than a tithe of the amount you have put into pure 
home mission work, by way of aiding mission schools and feeble 
churches in the city. 

You will be glad, also, to learn of the relation of this home 
mission work to the developement of Congregational Churches, 



62 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL. 

of which I have already spoken. Twelve of these thirty-four 
churches within the Chicago Association have thus been helped 
on to self support — conspicuous among these being those of 
Oak Park, Jefferson, Lombard, Blue Island, Woodstock and 
Lincoln Park, while seven of them are still receiving supple- 
mental aid. And of the one hundred and sixty-three churches 
organized within the last twenty-five years, in Illinois, prob- 
ably three-fourths have been for a time beneficiaries of this 
Home Mission Almoner. It has been a profitable sowing — an 
early reaping, in order to get other broad-casting and har- 
vesting. 

"How old art thou?" inquired the monarch of the shep- 
herd patriarch. His answer implied that there was a double 
measurement of life — one by years, and one by experiences. 
Length of days may indicate a very short life upon the measure 
of thoughts and feelings ; and a well rounded life may have 
be*n attained in a few years. Our nation is attracting the 
attention of the civilized world in the celebration of its Cen- 
tennial. This may seem somewhat assuming to the people of 
Iceland, who have already celebrated their millennium of 
national life ; to Japan, which counts back in an- unbroken 
line of one hundred and twenty three monarchs, to six hun- 
dred years before Christ ; and to China, which claims a govern- 
mental continuity back for four thousand years. But it will 
scarcely be cpiestioned that this Christian America has already 
lived as long as any of them if taken upon the measurement 
of moral progress. 

Your Quarter Centennial seems to have had compressed into 
it a century of ordinary easy-going experience. Some of these 
young men who identified their life with that of Christ in this 
church, at its very organization, have already lived as long as 
Methuselah lived, if their life be estimated upon the scale of 
influence upon humanity, upon the world. 

The Lord give you that ye may have such life, and that ye 
may have it more abundantly. 



ADDRESS 



HON. W. W. FARWELL, 

AT THE EVENING SERVICE OF THE 

QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

OF CHICAGO. 



Christian Friends : 

The Committee having in charge the arrangement of the 
exercises for this evening, thought it best to call upon some 
old member of the Church to say a few words to you, and, 
for some reason best known to themselves, selected me for 
that service. I do not claim to be exempt either on account 
of age or want of age, either in life or in membership, but I 
am not conscious of any special qualifications for so con- 
spicuous a position ; and I mistrust that the main reason why 
I now stand before you, is, that no other venerable brother 
could be found who would undertake to stand here. However 
that may be, I consented to do as requested ; for I do not feel 
at liberty, on an occasion like this, to refuse to speak if others 
are content to listen. But, for fear you may feel anxious or 
tired in advance, I promise you that I will do the best I can 
under the circumstances, and that, at any rate, I will not detain 
you long. 

This being a day calling for personal recollections, I may 
be permitted to speak of my own, as connected with this 
Church. 



64 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

I came with my wife to Chicago to reside in the fall of 
1854. We were acquainted with several of the members of 
this Church, having known them at the East, and we resided 
not far from its place of worship, and would, therefore, 
naturally have inclined to unite here. But there was another 
reason inducing me to join. I happened to entertain decided 
anti-slavery views, and my sympathies were with those who 
labored and suffered in that cause. When a boy at school at 
Clinton, N. Y., I had become interested in the rising strife, 
and attended, as a delegate, the Convention of the New York 

State Anti-Slavery Society, held at Utica, , 1835. 

A mob broke up the meeting and the Convention withdrew to 
Peterboro, on the invitation of Gerrit Smith, who then enlisted 
to serve during the war, and who fought so faithfully and 
effectually to the end. 

Such being my views, I became interested in this Church 
on account of the causes which had led to its formation, and 
the general views of its members. We were regular attend- 
ants upon its services from our arrival, and united by letter 
in October, 1855. 

So much by way of what is personal. 

Let us now come to the matter in hand. The question 
suggests itself: Is it worth the while for us to hold these 
special services ? Is there any call for such a demonstration ? 
Is it in good taste ? It is true the age of the Church is not 
so great as to make it distinguished. In human life, a quarter 
of a century is a pretty long time. It makes men and women 
of boys and girls. It has made us old who were then in middle 
life, and it has removed from among us many who were then 
in full vigor. But we ordinarily suppose that a Church, if 
called for at all, is to continue as a permanent institution, 
commensurate with the growth and wants of the community. 
If it cannot live twenty-five years, that is evidence that, per- 
haps, it would have been as well if it had never been born. If 
it is found alive and doing well on its twenty-fifth birthday, 
we may feel thankful that it has escaped the perils of infancy. 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 65 

but can scarcely expect to create any great enthusiasm based 
upon its age. 

But there is another view which we may take of this mat- 
ter, calculated to justify the services of this day. We live in 
a new city and in a new country. We find ourselves called 
upon to found the institutions of the future ; to sow the seed 
which shall determine the harvests of those who shall come 
after us ; to plant the trees which shall afford food and shelter 
and ornament to a long line of generations. It is difficult to 
conceive of any work more important. Those who are thus 
called upon to organize the institutions of a country, to found 
its churches and schools and charities, to frame its laws, to 
put in running order and set in motion the complicated ma- 
chinery of civilized life, have a work to perform calling for 
the exercise of the highest qualities of head and heart. Let 
us never forget this, nor prove faithless or unequal to this high 
trust. We have something to do here besides getting food 
and raiment, and comfortable homes and stylish equipage for 
ourselves and those near to us. Our great aim should not 
be to enjoy ourselves, to have a good time, but rather to listen 
to the still, small voice of conscience and of God, to obey that 
voice, and to endeavor to so live and labor, that the world may 
be better from our having lived in it. 

Viewing the subject in this light, we perceive that when 
Christian men and women, in a new city or new country, or- 
ganize themselves into a Christian Church, and give to that 
Church their time and money, and prayers and labors, and 
nurse it into strength and mature vigor, so that it seems to be 
an established and permanent institution in the community, 
they have performed an important work, and may be excused 
in rejoicing, not in any spirit of vanity or self-laudation, but 
because they are allowed to believe that their labor has not 
been in vain, and that present prosperity is a sign of some- 
thing better yet to come. 

We celebrate the founding of a Congregational Church. 
What is a Church ? The Roman Catholics say there is but 



66 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF TKE 

one genuine, legitimate and true church, to wit, themselves, or 
their church ; and they profess to be able to trace back their 
title by a clean abstract to St. Peter and our Lord. Some 
other sects or great divisions of Christians take the same gen- 
eral view as to the importance of being able to show regular 
and unbroken Apostolical ordination and succession, but deny 
the exclusive claim of the Roman Church. They say that the 
ecclesiastical tree, although having but one trunk, has a num- 
ber of great branches, all equally genuine, if not equally 
fruitful or flourishing. The great body of Protestant Chris- 
tians take an entirely different view of this matter. They 
deny that the historical evidence adduced sustains the claims 
of these legitimists ; and they deny that a mere paper title is 
of much importance, however regular it may appear to be 
upon its face. They think that Christianity must depend, in 
the long run, for its permanence and power, not upon any one 
church, however venerable or powerful, * nor upon shoots 
springing from it, nor upon grafting or transplanting, but 
upon the good seed of truth, sown in the hearts of men and 
quickened to life and growth by the rains and smiles and 
breath of Heaven ; and that in this way alone is the world to 
witness, from age to age, and through all time, the ever- 
recurring miracle of the youth, and beauty and- strength of the 
first creation. 

We celebrate the founding, not of the Church, but simply 
of a Church. Before coming here this evening, I took pains 
to look up a definition of the word, as we understand it ; and 
in the American Encyclopedia (Vol. 5, p. 242) I found this, 
which seems to be a correct one, and I copied it to read to 
you. It is as follows : 

" Congregationalists define a Church to be an organization of professed 
believers, $tatedly meeting in one place, and united together by covenant for 
mutual uatchfulness and edification, for the maintenance of dwine aorship and 
the observance of Christian ordinances." 

That describes us. We know that the great majority of 
Christians (using this word in its comprehensive meaning) 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 67 

look with anxiety, and often with alarm, upon such sporadic 
developments of Christianity, and they fear and prophesy the 
worst of consequences. At the time of the Reformation, the 
Roman Catholics labored with Luther and his associates to 
prevent secession, and promised reformation of abuses if they 
would abide within the fold. They held the Council of Trent 
and actually did much good work in the way of reform. They 
predicted the most serious evils to follow from Protestantism. 
They said that what was called religious liberty would prove 
to be ungodly license ; that the misguided children who 
should revolt against the doctrine and discipline of the Holy 
Mother Church would soon fall by the ears among themselves, 
and would worry and devour each other, and would bring a 
reproach upon the cause of Christ and ruin upon their own 
souls. The event seems to have proved that these fears 
were not well founded. Protestants differ, but they do not 
quarrel. Religion seems to flourish, though ecclesiasticiem 
may languish. Life and strength are not dependent upon a 
dull and enforced uniformity, but upon liberty and an en- 
lightened Christian conscience. 

So, also, as to the separation of Church and State, and the 
voluntary system for church support. The advocates of the 
old order of things were of opinion that the voluntary system 
would not answer the purpose ; that the tax collector, armed 
with the authority of the civil government, must collect the 
funds required for the support of Christian worship and for 
the various departments of church benevolence; that the 
Church, unsupported by the law of the land, would shrivel 
and languish, and fall into contempt, and would be compelled 
to withdraw from its great labors, and to give up its imposing 
demonstrations. But the friends of freedom were not con- 
vinced, and they insisted upon trying the experiment, and the 
result proves that they were right about it. " God loveth the 
cheerful giver." To give cheerfully, we must give voluntarily. 
The great body of independent Protestants show themselves 
ready to bear all reasonable burthens. The churches gen- 



68 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

erally give liberally according to their means, and, as we 
happen to know, in many cases run in debt to the extent of 
their ability. 

So as to the matter of church government and discipline. 
Our Presbyterian brethren commit these important matters to 
the Church Session, composed of the Pastor and ruling Elders, 
with the right of appeal to Presbytery, Synod and General As- 
sembly. On the other hand, we adopt the plan of self-govern- 
ment by the church itself, calling upon brethren and Pastors 
of sister churches to advise us in cases of difficulty. Proba- 
bly both methods are Scriptural enough. Each has its ad- 
vantages and disadvantages, as compared with the other. Ours 
has worked well in practice. There is no complicated ma- 
chinery about it. It is in accordance with the democratic 
character of our political institutions. It is satisfactory to the 
members. Under it we have got along quite harmoniously in 
the past, and have no fears but that it will serve our turn for 
the future quite as well as any that we could agree upon. 

This is our Christian home. We come here with our 
children and our children's children, to unite with any disciples 
of our Lord who care to join us in our simple worship. We 
listen to the preached word, and study the written word, with 
no superstitious fears or blind credulity, but with a sincere 
desire to learn the truth and to communicate it to others. We 
endeavor to exemplify, in some faint way at least, the divine 
religion which we profess, keeping watch over one another, 
helping one another, rejoicing with those who rejoice, and 
weeping with those who weep, endeavoring " to do justly, and 
to love mercy, and to walk humbly," and coming with con- 
fidence to our heavenly Father, who graciously leads us to 
Himself through His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 
and through the influence of the blessed Spirit. 

We make no pretensions to infallibility in doctrine or per- 
fection in life. We fellowship Christians of whatever name 
or denomination, and bid " God speed" to all who are engaged 
in our Master's service. We do not profess to be a mere 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 69 

mutual aid society, and we hope we shall not become a mutual 
admiration society. We are united, if at all, by reason of 
some common resemblance to Him who is the author and 
finisher of our faith. 

In conclusion, I wish to say that I like this church, for I 
find here religious liberty and Christian harmony. We do 
not all look alike, or dress alike, or think alike ; nor is there 
any probability that we ever shall. We all assent to the same 
creed, but there are statements in it which we do not all under- 
stand precisely alike, and which, perhaps, some of us do not 
understand at all. As for myself, I confess my ignorance and 
my want of reliable information or clearly defined notions, 
on many interesting questions, but I endeavor to listen with 
candor, and to search with diligence, and to be cautious in 
doubting as well as in believing. I do not know where heaven 
is, or where hell is ; nor do I know of any way of finding out 
anything about it in this life. I am not sure as I have any 
correct conception as to how either of those places really look, 
or as to how their inhabitants are occupied. I do not know 
how Jesus looked, nor am I aware that any one else knows any 
more about it than I do, whatever poets and artists may 
represent to the contrary. But what of all that ? May I not 
still be a genuine Christian ? Notwithstanding all my ignorance 
and all my weakness, I allow myself to entertain the hope that 
I may at last hear the welcome words, " Well done good and 
faithful servant." That hope is not based upon my ability to 
understand the mysteries, nor upon my readiness to assent to a 
creed, nor upon any selfish desire to secure happiness for my- 
self, or to escape misery, either in this world or in the world 
to come ; nor upon any miraculous assurance that whatever 
may become of others, I am safe. I base it, under God, 
upon this reflection : that when I was a mere lad I heard a 
voice speaking to me, as it has spoken to so many others, from 
pious Abel to the present hour, saying, " My son, give me thy 
heart." I listened, I trembled, I believe I obeyed; for from 
that hour to this I have never been afraid or ashamed to do my 



70 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL. 

duty. I did not turn a deaf ear to the cry of the slave when 
there were none to help him. I have never hesitated to speak 
when it would he cowardly or criminal to be silent. But this 
is not all. I may venture to mention one other reflection 
which encourages me to indulge this hope. As I read in the 
Gospels the clear and unadorned and unpretentious statement 
of many things done and said by Jesus, I feel myself drawn 
toward Him with an admiring love, and I at such times feel 
confident that, if it had been my lot to live in His day, and to 
have seen and heard Him who spoke as no other man has ever 
spoken, and who did what no other man has ever done, I 
should not have been indifferent, nor have taken sides with his 
enemies. I believe that His voice would have awakened a 
responsive echo within my soul, and that I should have obeyed 
the divine call, and should not have been ashamed to be 
pointed out as one of the disciples of the despised Gralileean. 

But it is time for me to stop. I have said more than I 
intended — perhaps more than I should. As a parting word 
allow me to express the hope that the Quarter Centennial of 
this church will be many times observed, and always with 
increasing interest ; that many of you may take part in the 
observance of the next ; that you will then have a tear for the 
memories of the past as well as a smile for the hopes of the 
future ; and that each of us, when dismissed by death from this 
church militant, may be admitted into full fellowship with the 
church triumphant. 



.A. 

STATISTICAL STATEMENT, 

BY • 

J. W. SYKES, Clerk of the Church. 



In the quarter of a century which expires May 22, 1876, 
the First Congregational Church of Chicago has received to 
its membership 2,025 persons. The Constituting Council 
received 15 of these without letters, their names having 
been erased from the roll of the Third Presbyterian Church, 
and letters not being obtainable. In these statistics these 
persons are treated as being received by letter. 

Of the 2,025 persons received, 819 have been males and 
1,206 females ; perhaps a larger proportion of males than 
usually obtains in church membership. 

Of the males, 299 united on profession and 520 by letter. 

Of the females, 446 were received on profession and 760 
by letter. 

The whole number received on profession is 745, and by 
letter 1,280. 

For the first three years and eight months of the history 
of the Church it had irregular or stated supplies, but no 
Pastor. During that time, 26 persons were received on pro- 
fession and 122 by letter ; in all 148. The year 1854 is the 
only one during this time, and the only one during the twenty- 
five years, in which there were no accessions on profession. 

On January 4, 1855, Rev. George W. Perkins was installed, 
and he died after a pastorate of but one year and ten months. 
We are unable to discover what the membership of the Church 
was at his installation, but a year after that time we find re- 
ported 135. The Church was prosperous during* Mr. Perkins' 



72 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 

term, and received 49 on profession and 71 by letter ; in all 
120. 

In less than two months after Mr. Perkins' death, Rev. 
W. W. Patton was installed, January 8, 1857. His pastorate 
reached ten years and six months, and he supplied the pulpit 
for six months after his dismissal. He found a membership 
of 198. During his pastorate, the Church, through him, wel- 
comed 300 persons on profession and 476 by letter ; in all 
776. The smallest number received any year on profession 
is 7, in 1861, and the smallest by letter is 28, in 1859. The 
largest number received on profession is 93, in 1858, and by 
letter 62, in 1857. And the yearly average is about 30 on 
profession and about 47 by letter ; in all 77. In no year did 
the total accessions run below 38, or above 152. 

During the whole of Dr. Patton's term, except when 
abroad, he served the Church as Clerk and did great service, 
not only in preserving the current history of the Church, but, 
so far as it could be done, reviving the record of the preceding 
years. 

During the six months between the end of Dr. Patton's 
pastorate and the installation of Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D., 
the Church received 3 persons on profession and 9 by letter ; 
total, 12. 

Dr. Goodwin was installed January 10, 1868, and has 
been with us eight years and four months. Dr. Patton found 
a membership of 198, and his successor found 542, and has 
since then welcomed to the Church on profession 367 per- 
sons, and by letter 602; in all 969. 

The smallest number received in any year by Dr. Good- 
win, on profession, is 16, in 1870, and by letter 55, in 1875. 
The largest number received on profession is 66, in 1869, and 
by letter 88, in the same year. The yearly average is about 
46 on profession, and 75 by letter; in all 121 ; and the total 
receptions each year vary between 84 and 154. 

During both pastorates, the tables show a wonderful con- 
stancy of growth. During Dr. Patton's term, perhaps, it was 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 73 

most naturally to be expected. It is no insignificant testi- 
mony to the value of the labors of our present Pastor that the 
impetus given to the Church by his predecessor should not 
merely have been maintained, but actually have been con- 
siderably augmented. The carrying a Church already pos- 
sessing a membership of 542 up to a thousand in eight years' 
time, is proof of service well rendered by its Pastor. 

In Dr. Goodwin's term there have been but seven com- 
munion seasons without receptions on profession, and none 
without accessions by letter. During Dr. Patton's service 
there were but ten communions without receptions on profes- 
sion, and none without accessions by letter. And, in fact, 
since New Year's, 1856 — more than twenty years — there has 
not been a communion without new members presenting let- 
ters, and only seventeen that have not witnessed the profes- 
sion of faith on the part of new converts. 

" For the preceding five years — the first of the Church — we 
do not know how often the communion was celebrated. We 
do know of seventeen occasions, and at all of these there were 
receptions by letter, and at nine of them on profession. 

The average of receptions for the whole twenty-five years 
is 81 per year ; 29 4-5 received on profession ; £1 1-5 by letter. 

The Church has lost 130 of its members by death. It has 
discharged from its watch and care, under Rule 4, one person. 
It has excommunicated 15, and withdrawn its watch and care, 
in a milder form, from 14, and has dismissed 854. 

Its membership now numbers 1,011, of whom 401 are 
males and 610 are females. And of these we know the where- 
abouts of all but about 100. 

So far as can be known, this Church has never issued 
general letters of dismissal, but has always dismissed to some 
specified church. Its cases of discipline have always been con- 
ducted with caution, perfect regularity and the strictest care 
for the rights both of the Church and the offender. 

We have no records of infant baptisms prior to Dr. Patton's 
day, but he baptized 214, and the present Pastor has baptized 
129 ; total, 343. 



74 QUARTER-CENTENNIAL. 

Of the 745 persons received on profession, 227 were then 
baptized, so that 518 — or about 70 per cent. — of those who 
confessed their faith were baptized in infancy. 

The Church has taken part in 198 Councils and other con- 
vocations of the churches. It has assisted in organizing 27 
new churches ; has been represented in 19 advisory councils ; 
has assisted in ordaining, or installing, or doing both, for 65 
Ministers, and has helped 22 out of their Pastorates. 

We have no means of arriving at an exact — or, in fact, of 
making any approximate statement of the money raised by 
the Church and the Ecclesiastical Society. The books of the 
Treasurer of the Society were burned in the great fire, and 
the Society has not been in the habit of spreading in full upon 
its records the annual reports of its Trustees, and the benevo- 
lent contributions of the Church are recorded only for a por- 
tion of its existence. 

So far as records are found on the Church books, they foot 
up $161,923.87. If there be added to this the cost of the 
five houses of worship the society has builded, the yearly ex- 
penses of the society, and the large but unknown private dona- 
tions of the members of the Church, the aggregate will cer- 
tainly be a very respectable amount. 

Neither are we able to give statistics of the Home Sabbath 
School, or of any of the missions this Church has supported. 

The reports of the Home school on the Church records 
for the last three years show an average enrollment of 1,176, 
an average attendance of 565, and an average amount of 
$603.90 collected per year at the sessions of the school, this 
not including money procured in other ways. 

Of the number of persons received into the Church on the 
profession of their faith since January 1, 1873 — three years 
and four months — a trifle over 55 per cent, came from the 
Sabbath school. 

[In connection with the above statement, the following table is offered. 
As the annual meeting of the Church now falls upon the last Wednesday 
evening of the year, this table, for convenience, follows the calendar year. 
It, however, covers a period of just twenty-five years, but there is a fraction 
of a year at each end ;] 



A TABLE, 

Showing the Accessions to the First Congregational Church oi- 
Chicago, at each Communion Season Since its Organization, Mat 
22, 1851. 



May 22 
July ... 
November 
December 

February. 
March 



June 

November 



January.. 
March 



July 

November 



February. 
May 



August.... 
October... 

January.. 
February. 
May 

July 

September 
November 

February.. 

May 

July 

August 

November 



PR0EES N LETTER 



NUMBER RE- 
CEIVED 

EACH SEASON, 



Letter,* 48 
Prof., 3 ) 
Letter, 8 j 11 
Letter, 6 

Prof., 1 I 
Letter, 5/6 

Prof., 3 ) 

Letter, 3/6 

Prof., 7 \ 

Letter, 1J 8 
Letter, 4 

Prof., 1 

Prof., 101 
Letter, 21 J 31 
Prof.; 1 1 
Letter, 2 J 3 
Letter, 
Letter, 



Letter, 
Letter, 

Letter, 
Letter, 
Prof., 2 
Letter, 5 
Prof., 1 
Letter, 12 



NUMBER RE- 
CEIVED 
EACH YEAR. 



Prof., 41 

Letter, 67/ 71 



Prof., 11) 
Letter, 8/19 



lProf., 11) 

'.) Letter, 33/ 44 



Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 



2 

9/10 
35 1 
16/51 

6 

Vn 

n 

16 j 20 
5 
11 f 16 



Letter, 



Prof., 3 i 

Letter, 33 i 



Prof., 461 

Letter, 38 J 



12/17, 

n 

11/14: 
12/19 



Prof., 24) 
Letter, 62 ) 



TOTAL RECEPT'NS 

AT THE END 

OF EACH SEAR. 



Prof., 4 1 

Letter, 67/ 71 



Prof., 15 1 

Letter, 75/ 90 



ProL, , 26 ) 
Letter, 108/] 

Prof., 26 1 
Letter, 122/148 



Prof., 29 ) 
Letter, 155/184 



Prof., 75 1 
Letter, 193 J 



Prof., 99 1 
Letter, 255/354 



1855, Rev. (Jeo. 
W. Perkins in- 
alled. 



Nov. 13, '61'., 
Rev Geo. W. 
Perkins di.'ii. 



1 Of these, 11 males aud 4 females were, in fact, received without letter. 



QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF THE 



PROFES X LETTER. 



NUMBER RE- 
CEIVED 
EACH SEASON. 



NUMBER RE- TOTAL EECEPT'NS 

CEIYED AT THE END 

EACH YEAR. ] OF EACH TEAR. 



! January... 

March 

May 

July 

Septembe 
November 

i January . 
March.... 

May 

July 

September 
November 



May.. 
July.... 
September 
November 

i January... 
March . 

May 

July 

September 
November 

! January . 
March... 

May 

July 

September 
November 

I January . 
March.... 

May 

July 

September 
November 



ft Prof., 4) 

b Letter, 12116 

. Prof., 13 \ 

4 Letter, 6/19 

Q Prof., 51) 

a [Letter, 13/64 

. Prof., 15 \ 

Letter, 9/24 

, Prof., 31 
Letter, 4f 7 



Prof., 7 

Letter, 15/22 Letter, 59 / 152 Letter, 314 / 506 



4 Prof-, 1 

Letter, 9/10 

7 Prof., 2 
' Letter, 10 f 12 

Prof., 3 

Letter, 1 

9 Prof, 2 

* Letter, 4 

n Prof., 2 

Letter, 1 
2 Letter, 



6 Letter, 8 

1 Letter, 1 

. Prof, 31 

Letter, 5 ( 8 

a Prof., 41 

Letter, 8 / 12 

Prof., 1 

10 Prof., 21 
1U Letter, 16 J 18 



Prof., 2021 
Letter, 342/ 544 



Prof., 101 Prof, 2121 

Letter, 38 I 48 Letter, 380 i 



o [Prof., 1 

; Letter, 4 

, [Prof., 1 

Letter, 1 

a Prof., 2 

Letter, 5 

^ Prof, 2 

^ Letter, 5 
5 i Letter, 

, Prof, 11 iProf, 71 Prof, 2191 

* Letter, 6/ 7 Letter, 32/ 39Letter,412/ &31 

. Prof, 5 , 

* Letter, 7/ 12 
. Prof, 21 
Letter, 8/l0 
9 Prof, 2 ) 

Letter, 3/5 

Prof, 3 

" Letter. 3 

„ Prof, 1 

z Letter, 3 



I Prof, 
i Letter, 



8 Letter, 14 

2 Prof, 21 

L Letter, 3 i 

a Prof, 4 1 

* ' Letter, 7/11 

2 j Letter, 6 

- Prof., 2 

Letter, 9 f 11 Prof, 



4 Letter, 



Prof, 141 Prof, 233 I 
Letter, 36/ 50 Letter, 448 / 



4 Letter, 43 i 51 Letter, 491 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 







ON 


BY 












z 


profes'n 


LETIER. 


NUMBER RE- 


NUMBER RE- 


TOTAL RECEPT'NS 






2 £ 














gs 




d 




as 


CEIVED 


CEIVED 


AT THE END 




. 




<o 


a 


CO 


~ 


EACH SEASON. 


EACH YEAR. 


OF EACH YEAR. 




1 


■a 


a 


a 


i 










6 


a 


£ 


a 


£ 










1864 


January... 


3 


10 


4 


6 


Prof, 13 | 
Letter, 10 j 23 










March 


8 


8 


3 


4 


Prof., 16 1 
Letter, 7 j" 23 










May 


5 


3 


5 


7 


Prof , 8 \ 

Letter, 12 j 20 










July 


3 


5 


3 


4 


Prof., 8 ) 
Letter, 7/15 
















September 


4 


11 


5 


4' 


Prof, 15 I 

Letter, 9 j 24 










November 


3 


3 


4 


7 


Prof, 6 [ 
Letter, 11 j 17 


Prof., 661 

Letter, 56/122 


Prof., 3071 

Letter, 547/ 854 




1SG5 


January... 


2 


3 


4 


4 


Prof., 5 1 
Letter, S J 13 










March 


2 


4 


2 


4 


Prof., 6 1 
Letter, 6 J 12 










May 




3 




2 


Prof., 3 \ 

Letter, 2/ 5 
















July 


1 




2 




Prof., 1 ) 
Letter, 2] 3 
















September 








6 


Letter, 6 










November 


1 




2 


3 


Prof., 1 1 
Letter, 5j 6 


Prof., 161 
Letter, 29/ 45 


Prof, 323) 
Letter, 576/ 899 




1866 


January- 


3 


1 


4 


3 


Prof., 4 
Letter, 7 


■11 










March 


3 


7 


2 


5 


Prof., 10 
Letter, 7 J 


*17 










May 


6 


6 


1 


4 


Prof, 12 
Letter, 5 


h 17 
















July, 


2 




2 


4 


Prof., 21 
Letter, 6 1 


' 8 










September 


1 




2 


, iProf., 1] 
Letter, 3 J 


" 4 










November 








2 1 Letter, 2 


Prof., 301 

Letter, 30/ 60 


Prof, 3531 
Letter, 606/ 959 






Decemb'r* 




1 




[Prof., 1 




1867 


January... 




3 


5 


1fi Prof, 31 
w ! Letter, 21 j 24 










March 


4 


11 


7 


19 


Prof, 15 1 
Letter, 26 / 41 










May 


1 


3 


3 


4 


Prof., 4 ) 
Letter, 7 j" 11 










July 






3 


6 


Letter, 9 






Julj 25. 1867, 




September 






2 


2 


Letter, 4 






Rev.Wm W 
Patton.D.D. 




November 




3 


1 


4 


Prof., 3) 

Letter, 5j 8 


Prof., 25) 

Letter, 72/ 97 


Prof., 3781 
Letter, 678 / 1056 


dismissed. 


1868 


January... 


1 


2 




3 


Prof., 3 1 
Letter, 3j 6 






January 10, 
1868. Rev. E . 




March 


1 




7 


10 


Prof., 5 > 
Letter, 17 J 22 






P. Goodwin in- 
stalled. 




May 


2 




5 


6 


Prof., 3 X 
Letter, 11/14 










July 


5 




6 


13 


Prof., 7 1 
Lett;r 19/26 
















September 






2 


1 


Prof., 1 ) 
Letter, 3/4 










November 






6 


4 


Prof., 21 
Letter, 10/12 


Prof., 21) 
Letter, 63/ 84 


Prof., 3991 
Letter, 741/1140 




1809 


January... 


2 




5 


6 


Prof, 3 1 
Letter, 11) 14 










March 


14 


29 


15 


13 


Prof., 43) 
Letter, 28 f 71 










May 


4 


10 


4 


- Prof., ' 14 1 
' 1 Letter, 11 (25 









* Special Caae. 



78 



QUARTER-CENTENNIAL. 



5 I 



September 
November 
January... 
March 



July... 
September 

November 
January 

Marcli... 



May ... 
July- 
September 
November 
January. 
March ... 

May 

June 



May 

July 

September 
November 
January... 

March 

May 

July 

September 
November 

January.... 

March 

May 

luly 

September 
November 



I'l.'UFF.S N LETTER. 



3 : 

5 



10 

2 I 2 



14 
4 

6 

6 
6 

8 6 
5 j 2 
5 5 
12 
9 
11 
2 

5 5 
2 1 



NUMBER RE- 
CEIVED 
EACH SEASON 



Prof., 2 1 
Letter, 13 / 15 
Prof., 4 1 
Letter, 8 f 12 



N! MI.EK RE- TOTAL RECEPTIONS 

CEIVED I AT THE END 

EACH YEAR. OF EACH YEA] 



!Prof., 465 1 



Letter, 17 Letter, 88 J 154, Letter, 829 / 1294 

Letter, 
Prof., 2 
Letter, 7 
Prof., 2 
Letter, 10 \ 12 
Prof. 8 
Letter, 24 
Prof, 2 
Letter, 14 
Prof., 2 
Letter, 14 / 16 
Prof., 12 
Letter, 18 f 30 
Prof., 27 
Letter, 15/42 
Prof, 10 
Letter, 22 / 32 
Prof., 6 
Letter, 4/10 
Prof., 
Letter, 
Letter, 17 



12 



14) 



Letter, 
Prof., 
Letter, 
Prof., 
Letter, 
Prof., 7 | 
Letter, 14 / 21 
Prof., 3 1 
Letter, 7/10 
Prof., 4 ) 
Letter, 10 j 14 

Prof., 131 
Letter, 15 / 28 
Prof., 4 I 
Letter, 12 [ 10 
Prof., 14) 
Letter, 19 | 33 
Prof., 14 ) 
Letter, 11/25 
Letter, 10 

Prof., 3 1 
Letter, 3/6 
Prof, 7 1 
Letter, 11 J" 18 
Prof., 12 I 
Letter, 17 f 29 
Prof., 18 \ 
Letter, 13 ( 31 
Prof, 4\ 
Letter, 7/11 
Letter, 4 

Prof., 4 \ 
Letter, 10 ) 14! 



Prof., 101 
Letter, 85 / 101 



Prof., 591 
Letter, 79 I 138 



Prof., 361 
Letter, 69 / 105 



Prof., 481 1 
Letter, 914/1395 



Prof., 540 ) 
Letter, 993/1533 



Prof., 576 1 

Letter, 1062/1638 



Letter, 7(1 j 118 Letter, 113- f 1756 



Prof.. 451 
Letter, 62 /1 07 



Prof., 669 
Letter, 1194 



FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 



79 



PROFES N LETTER. 



4 



■a I I 



NUMBER RE- 
CEIVED 
EACH SEASON 



NUMBER RE- TOTAL RECEITIONS 

CEIVED AT THE END 

EACH YEAR. OF EACH YEAR. 



January.... 

March 

May 

July 

September 
November 



January... 

March 

May 





1 


7 


5 


3 


4 


3 


3 




4 


2 


4 



5 
3 

12 

4 i 5 ; 7 

7-6 5 

6 ' 4 ! 4 



Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 

Letter, 

Prof., 

Letter, 



27 

10/37 
7 
15 



31 Prof., 48 
16 J 19 Letter, 55 / 103 



Prof., 9 1 

Letter, 12 j 21 1 

Prof., Ill 

Letter, 11 J 22 1 

Prof., 81 Prof, 281 jProf., 

Letter, 8 J 16iLetter,31 j 59Letter, 



Prof., 717 1 
Letter, 1249 j 1966 



On Profession, Males. 



By Letter, Males.... 

Femnles. 



1280 
2025 



Males 819 

Females 1206